Saturday, October 16, 2010

Horror Film Review

Spirit of the Glass (2004): As far as I know, this is the first horror film I've seen that's come out of the Philippines. Yes, there are subtitles (deal with it) but every third or fourth sentence is spoken in English, so I'd be reading along when an actor switched from Tagalog to English (not dubbed). I'd look up from reading only to have the next sentence be back in Tagalog, and then I'd miss the subtitle. Odd.

A bunch of young people head for a remote house for a weekend getaway and after growing bored decide to pass the time playing with a Ouija board. Original, no? That said, as far as haunted house movies go, this one doesn't follow modern Hollywood rules. First of all, the cast is huge. Plenty of fodder for angry spirits, right? Nope. Not one of them dies. Then how, you may ask, can this be a horror movie? It accomplishes this by following classic Hollywood rules: using tension instead of gore, clever camera shots instead of over-the-top special effects.

The bunch of young people discover a young man was brutally murdered on the grounds many years ago and by using the Ouija board, they inadvertently summon him back from the beyond. The man's girlfriend agreed to run away with him but her family felt this would shame them and so tortured and killed him. She was locked away in her room and eventually hanged herself. So, yeah...a happy story. But with the help of a psychic, the bunch manage to reunite the couple on the other side.


Acting:  I can't fault it but then again, I can't say it's inspired. I can say it's not horrible.
Story:  It's straight out of a Shakespeare tragedy so not original.
Direction:  Leaden. By that I mean this film has a running time of two hours but it would have been much better at an hour and a half.
Production Values:  Acceptable, except for the lighting. The film is too dark.
Gore:  There is some blood during the torture scene but that's about it.
Ending:  A pleasant surprise.
Verdict:  Should you see it? If you're looking for a classic ghost story without the slash and splatter, then sure, give it a shot.

My Rating:  3 out of 5

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