Celebrating her golden year in showbiz, the Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos tries doing something new by venturing new territories and doing a suspense-thriller movie under the supervision of the country’s top horror master Chito Roño. This experiment turned out to be more than satisfying and every inch enjoyable.
The Healing started with Seth (Santos) bringing her father to a faith healer in hopes that his stroke will be healed. Miraculously enough, her father is perfectly fine the following day. This prompted her neighbors (incidentally all having something to be healed) to ask Seth to accompany them and be healed as well. Surprisingly, Manang Elsa was reluctant and denied to lend them any help, but gave in the end as well. True enough, everyone felt better the following day, but it seemed that a pattern regarding death haunts their batch one by one.
As for starters, I really find the movie engaging despite the formula being pretty similar to past Roño efforts. As a matter of fact, there were some scenes recycled from his similarly themed movies. With that said, I noticed how crisp and sharp the technical details were. I’m probably one of the few who wasn’t bothered with the color themes of the movie, and I think that clearly helped set the mood of the scenes. The cinematography, editing, and visual effects were clean as well, and the score fits the bill of the impending scenes that were about to happen. This is a good testament of how Roño takes notice of the details in his film from the smallest up to bigger ones.
I noticed some flaws in the story telling (with the chronology of the events, to be more specific), and while at times you feel that it’s already predictable, there’s a way in which the director attacks the scene and hooks you back from the beginning. The highlight was probably the temple scene, as it was a clever take on different scare tactics which was handled effectively by the people involved. True enough, it has a large cast but it has a pretty good one at that; Vilma Santos was not given much to do yet still blends well with the rest of the ensemble.
If you enter the cinemas trying to be critical with how “authentic” the material will be, then you’d be disappointed. However, if you enter the cinema trying to ride the experience of what this movie has to offer, then I’m sure you’ll have a treat. Gore, laughter, drama, and supernatural haven’t blended that well in years, and The Healing is a very good representation of mixing that the right way.
Grade: 4 / 5