One of the entries I anticipate to see this MMFF season is 'Shake, Rattle and Roll XV'. Not only that the trailer shows a lot of promise but the ensemble cast is also worth watching. This year, dubbed as the biggest and the grandest SRR to date, composed of three episodes. 'Ahas', 'Ulam' and 'Flight 666'. As we (SRR fans) know, this horror franchise has been a disappointment (kinda) from its previous installments. You know what I mean, the best SRR for me is still SRR 2 with my fave episode 'Aswang' starring Manilyn Reynes and Anna Roces. This horror franchise stopped being magnificent after SRR V. This year, SRR XV promised to bring back those golden years and I can say that, they did.
All three episodes were nicely made and they provided nice amount of gore and scare. Let me give you a review on each episodes.
'Ahas': Stars Erich Gonzales, JC de Vera, Melai Cantiveros and John Lapus.
(running time: 43mins.)
I consider this episode as the appetizer. Erich played a dual role in this episode, pretty challenging for the actress and a difficult one to deliver. JC, on the other hand, is a little mysterious with a dark background on his character. I liked the CG on this one, love the snake effects and every top shots that director DonDon Santos, Jr. did.
I liked the cleverness of the story, as most of us are aware, this kind of story was once popular during the 90's. The urban legend that scared all the mall shoppers. I said clever because, they used the name of the real-life-urban-legend mall as an anagram to the episode's mall name (Alegria Mall) as well on the clothing brand (Regalia) get it? And adding Alice Dixon in the mix was another clever move. Although the episode has some draggy moments and questionable incidents, I still think that 'Ahas' episode delivered what it wanted to serve. I commend Erich for a wonderful job in portraying both characters.
'Ulam': Stars Dennis Trillo, Chanda Romero and Carla Abellana with John Lapus.
(running time 46mins.)
Now for the main course. Dennis and Carla are a couple who inherited a house from Dennis' grandmother. Neither do they know, what they eat, served by the house cook, will turn them into something, something devilish. 'You are what you eat' as the saying goes.
This is the best episode this year. Director Jerrold Tarog (SRR 9 Punerarya) made this year's SRR a memorable one with this episode. Good story-telling, nice scare, enough gore and great acting. I watched the premiere night of SRRXV and the audience gave Dennis Trillo and Carla Abellana's acting a loud and deserving applause. Twice! I love how the scenes were treated, the colors were not glossy but scary toned. It will give you lots of screams and lots of 'eeww' moments. I loved the hospital scenes of Carla Abellana and the climax of this episode was also memorable. Chanda Romero is a gave a great portrayal to her character. I already added 'Ulam' as one of my fave SRR episodes.
'Flight 666': Starring Matteo Guidicelli, Lovi Poe, Kim Atienza, Khalil Ramos, Kiray Celis, Daniel Matsunaga, Betong Sumaya, Bernard Palanca, Yael Yuzon, John Spainhour and John Lapus.
(running time 36mins.)
It's time for dessert! No SRR is complete without a comedy episode. Manila Air, Flight 666 is being threatened by a hijacker, a ticking time bomb and a mysterious creature that kills the passengers. Director Perci Intalan (Dementia) gave us a nice balance of humor and intense horror. It's your usual 'who is next' style of killing with a good touch of comedy from Kiray, Kim Atienza and John Lapus. Yes, John Lapus' character 'Iggy', traveled from episode one to the third, and it was genius! You will actually wait for his grand finale death scene. Although the CG's were not that perfect on this episode, it's forgivable because the actors gave a good ensemble performance.
No kidding, 'Shake, Rattle and Roll XV' brought back what SRR really is and what we loved a bout it from the beginning. SRRXV gave me a perfect serving of horror. No over-acting, no disappointments. Watch SRRXV now as it is still showing! PS: Best SRR end credits ever.
Let me also share you some videos I have from my SRRXV 'Flight 666' set visit. I went to their set and talked to the cast and director Perci Intalan. I saw how difficult they shoot the episode since everything was shot inside the plane. Trivia: this is the biggest SRR episode yet since they shot inside a real plane, a first in the Philippines. Subscribe to my YouTube channel (Iyane Escarpe) for more SRR exclusive videos.