It’s very easy to dismiss the current Shake, Rattle, and Roll especially since the last few installments are very forced and forgettable. Save for the Punerarya episode last year, most segments here are straight rip-offs of Hollywood films or horror-comedy ones that lean more on the comedic side. This year is different though; getting three fearless directors to work on this thirteenth franchise makes you wish that Regal sticks to its plan of ending it this year. In that way, they can end on a positive note.
The first episode is Richard Somes’s “Tamawo” which stars Zanjoe Marudo, Maricar Reyes, Bugoy Carino, and white creatures that looked like Showtime finalists. It was about a man who stole something from these white creatures, and now they’re off to get it. The episode wasn’t scary at all; instead, it leaned on the good side. It’s something you’d probably watch from an episode of Hiraya Manawari or Wansapanataym. But the production values in this one were top notch. The sets, sounds, and make up are some of the best the whole franchise ever had. I wouldn’t complain much about the overlong story; after all, I think there’s an obligatory SR&R episode that must be shot in the jungle or in the forest to pay homage to the early definition of scary. B
In the second episode entitled “Parola”, Kathryn Bernardo and Louise delos Reyes play best friends who decided to sneak in and go to a forbidden lighthouse. What they don’t know is that the place is haunted, and that it gets a pair of victim every year. Strange things happen to them after the incident while a bigger secret unfolds. This is probably my favorite episode of the three, as director Jerrold Tarog blends reality with the paranormal very smoothly that leaves you goosebumps with many scenes in it. Kathryn Bernardo gave a very effective performance that instantly joins the ranks of Herbert Bautista, Manilyn Reynes, and Kris Aquino. The technical and visual effects here were not exaggerated; thus, it contributed to the overall atmosphere of the episode. This episode also is perfect for the SR&R series because it’s too long to be an individual film, yet too effective to be a short film. A
The last episode is Chris Martinez’s “Rain Rain Go Away” which was set during the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy. Couple Cynthia (Eugene Domingo) and Mar (Jay Manalo) has a plastic making business, and since the incident, the wife has felt very traumatic about water. She dreams of caskets floating in the water, never ending flow of water, and her husband even waking up from a nightmare with overflowing water in his mouth. The story presented here is interesting, and I commend the writers and storytellers. The episode was clearly something that focuses more on the narrative instead of the effects. I like how Eugene Domingo clearly shifts from comedic to dramatic to scared as shit all in a single scene, and she carries the episode with enough vulnerability for the audience to be curious and, at the same time, understand her. Nevertheless, it was too long for the director to balance the momentum, so audience might be mixed bag about it. I personally feel it’s something that I appreciate more on its attempt to tell a story rather than its try to scare viewers. A-
The film has its own set of issues. For one, it’s too long. There are parts in every episode that can be cut off or lessened, as the whole movie runs to a two and a half hour time mark. Second, as per any Shake, Rattle, and Roll episode, they love introducing characters that do not contribute anything at all. Probably a movie contract with Regal is why they’re included in the cast, but they don’t help move the story forward. However, with three very capable directors helming this batch, it’s still a nice and fresh take to this once great series. The first episode has very good production, the second one is hands down very recommended, and the third has an interesting story.
All in all, if you’ve been watching every Shake, Rattle, and Roll movie, then this is not the year to stop it. If you have given up already, this is the time to renew your faith. It’s worth the watch. At least we don’t get a killer Christmas tree, an overflowing aquarium, or Nieves the engkantalarya.
Overall Grade: B+