Learn a portmanteau: maindie. The term refers to mainstream-indie. Skylight Films is the maindie unit of mainstream production mammoth Star Cinema. Its initial offering is Corazon starring Erich Gonzales. Amorosa: The Revenge is its follow-up project with Angel Aquino in the lead. There seems to be pattern: horror flicks with female names as titles. Though the maindie unit seems bent on being the edgier little brother of Star Cinema, this I-am-going-to-be-different attitude has produced confusing movies. Corazon has an interesting premise and intention but the use of multiple elements killed of its good promise. Amorosa is more derivative and less entertaining. Old familiar stuff like creaking doors, disgusting insects, and vengeful ghosts pervade the entire screen time. Some concepts were borrowed from The Others, Sixth Sense and a number of Asian horror films. The luminous Angel Aquino is the best thing about it but even her presence could not keep the movie afloat. But there is one other reason I found it disappointing.
Amorosa survived a tragic accident and she decided to move to an old pension house with her children Amiel (Martin Del Rosario) and Rommel (Enrique Gil). The change in address promises a new beginning for them. But the pension house hides a dark secret about to break out its hiding place.
Choice is at the heart of the film. The lead character had to make a terrible choice during the accident triggering a difficult relationship with one of his sons. Her other son tried to decide for his future but his mother opposed him. Even the ghost made a painful decision in life that led to her death. Making a choice – good or bad – is the running theme of the film but the decision of the filmmakers to fill up the movie with numerous old and tired horror elements ruined it for me. Instead of focusing on the consequences of a choice to a person and his relationships with other people, the audience is treated to one stock horror trick after another. Frankly, the choice given to Amorosa during the accident provides a boatload of opportunities to examine its effects to a mother. The film did for a bit until the I-thought-of-this-twist-an-hour-ago was revealed. And in hindsight, the mother-son relationship could have been a movie in itself without the need for a murderous ghost. I guess most filmmakers think the Filipino audience is not yet ready for a full-on psycho-horror/drama devoid of prosthetic-enhanced monsters. That is a just a load of bull.
In its search to make an edgier film, the people behind Amorosa came up with ANYTHING CUTTING-EDGE. It is just another something for the Same Old Same Old File Folder. I do hope the next maindie production will be better because am still a believer of local films.
- Running ghosts are better than floating ones. The running ghost scene in the film got the loudest screams last night. Reminds me of slo-mo ghost running scene in The Road.
- I am not a fan of possessions but Nanding Josef as Pedro did a good job in one.
- The film is the first for former child star Jane Oineza a batchmate of primetime soap princess Julia Montes.