I bravely watched Yam Laranas’ newest flick - I say bravely since I was by myself - and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not a simple ghost story. It’s a mixture of different terrifying concepts: ghosts, serial killers, and dark unfamiliar places.
The movie is divided into 3 arcs, set in different periods: 2008, 1998, and 1988. These 3 stories are intricately connected.
2008 is about the disappearance of 3 teenagers along an old, deserted stretch of road. This arc embodies the tag line of the film, that nobody leaves the road which is haunted by vengeful and tortured ghosts. 1998 tells the story of the ghosts which haunts the road. By this arc, viewers are introduced to the human antagonist (Luis) of the film (and, if you’re watching closely, clues as to the identity of the killer are also given out). 1988 tells the story of Luis and the history of the haunted road.
Everything about this film was just downright creepy - from the music to the cinematography. One of the things I liked was how Yam Laranas didn’t rely on much special effects to scare the viewers. Sometimes masterful make-up can be scarier than the most advanced CGI effects.
However, it’s been said in our time, every story has already been told a thousand times. This movie is no exception. The theme of the vengeful ghost is reminiscent of The Grudge, and the twist in this movie is similar to that in Wag Kang Lilingon. That said, while the themes are not original, Yam Laranas was able to tell this tale in a way that will still scare the wits out of the audience.