“indie festivals best” at cinemalaya 2015!



The four (4) outstanding and best picture winners of both local and international film festivals to be shown in Cinemalaya 2015 from August 8-15 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Pasay City are:

1. “IMBISIBOL”,  by Lawrence Fajardo (Best Film, Sinag Maynila 2015)
2. “MAGKAKABAUNG (The Coffin Maker)”,  by Jason Paul Laxamana (Best Film, MMFF New Wave 2014, among other awards)
3. “DEMENTIA”,  by Perci Intalan (Best Film, Fantasporto International Fantasy Film Award 2015, among other awards)
4. “VIOLATOR”,  by Eduardo Dayao (Best Film, Cinema One Originals 2014)


Screening schedule is now being finalized. To be announced once available.

imbi dementia vio magka

“the strangers”: when the ‘new breed’ creates a powerful sound of an emerging new kind of cinematic pleasure!

d strangerss strangers2

jm de guzman: his character in the film "the strangers" deserves a PART TWO.
jm de guzman: his character in the film “the strangers” deserves a PART TWO.

The ‘new breed’.

They are braver, fiercer, bolder, and faster!

They create a more powerful sound, like that of a pack of wolves about to attack a prey. Or an erupting volcano out to cover the land with a burning lava and hard ashes of  ‘lahar‘…

The ‘new breed’.

They are out to steal the show from the old ones, conquering the spaces and the frames, lavishing in a great cinematic pleasure of a totally new kind of an horror film- “THE STRANGERS”.

“The New Breed”: JM De Guzman, Enchong Dee, Julia Montes and Enrique Gil totally overpowered the acting ‘greatnesses’ of veteran actors and actresses like Cherie Pie Picache, Jaime Fabregas, Janice de Belen, Mark Gil (who appeared briefly in the last scene of the film) and Johnny Revilla in this film. These young performers showed so much ‘angst’ and pain in this film- with great diversity and nuances in acting styles and a totally impressive respective techniques in acting that an ordinary viewer could feel so much satisfaction and ecstasy.

JM was totally “in character” all throughout the movie. His consistency in each sequences were so correct and perfect- playing a provinciano lad with a kind heart to strangers who dangerously crossed a path of a “monster-infested” jungle-land of a remote village. But in reality, the strangers he protected were the ones who killed his parents at the ending of the film.

You could shed a tear or two at the near-end of the movie when JM discovered the dead bodies of his father and mother, and his character could be developed for a “Part Two” of this movie ‘coz he could be out for revenge someday. Indeed, JM WAS A REVELATION IN THIS FILM!

Enchong Dee was  “the most surprisingly good performer” in this movie. His characterization of a ‘dual character’ (first, a nice husband whose wife and kid were killed, and later on, a hermit who vowed to kill the monsters or asuwangs) were totally in contrast, and it made him a real actor to feel. His death scene here was so symphatetic and very powerfully-‘directed’. Even in a long beard and dirty looks, Enchong was so handsome in this movie, and his speaking lines were so gentle but so penetrating. He got the best role of all, and he gave so much  justice into it.

enchong delivered his lines in the movie "the strangers" with great depth. his dual-characterization in the said film were so impressive!
enchong delivered his lines in the movie “the strangers” with great depth. his dual-characterization in the said film were so impressive!

Julia Montes also did a great job! She didn’t over-act in those heavy scenes she got in, and her transformation of a nice stranger-lady turning into a monster was so horrifying and Julia surely knew how to divert her kind of acting into something so frightening. It was in her scenes that a blogger who watched the movie really got scared!

And finally, Mr. Enrique Gil. Oh, my. This teen actor surely inherited within himself the correct methods of how to act so good. He got the STRONGEST character of all in this film. He killed and defeated the character of Enchong, biting him hard until Julia took her turn and finished-off Enchong. He’s also the one who ‘ate and killed’ JM’s dad (portrayed so convingcingly by theater actor Art Acuna) and made the STRANGERS be the victors against the gentle humans in the end.

But Enrique’s good looks didn’t steal the show. It was his great performance in the movie that blended so well with all the others that made this movie all the more magnificent.

director law fajardo with his great new breed of performers in "the strangers"- julia montes and jm de guzman.
director law fajardo with his great new breed of performers in “the strangers”- julia montes and jm de guzman.

Director Law Fajardo surely knew how to get there. He choreographed his scenes with a careful mind and a great ‘ease’. But in the later half of the film, you could feel that POWERFUL SOUND of a great, new kind of an horror film, never before done in Philippine Cinema. Also a “new breed” as a director, director Fajardo made so much havoc to all other horror film directors, and now, they could be so much afraid of him.

Miss Tanya Gomez was the only veteran performer in this movie that was “in parallel” with the “new breeds”. In each of her scenes, you could feel a great aura of mystery and superb acting. Sorry to say, but Ms. Cherie Pie Picache and Ms. Janice de Belen (the other veteran actresses included in this film) were both so low in “acting styles” here. They should shift to a different way of attacking their characters, and they should both also apply it even in the TV soap opera on channel 2 that they’re both together in. They didn’t blend together in this film, that we did say now.

The cinematography, the editing and the sound- shot and created in this movie were totally fantastic! Our hats-off for the people in credits for those powerful sounds, good film-cuts and cinematic shots- which were not exaggerated in details but simply gratifying. Even both  the story and the screenplay of this film were tremendous. Compared to that ‘other one’ horror film entry at the Metro Manila Film Festival whose “screenplays” were simply out to impress but so disappointing for an ordinary movie viewer. Did you get what this meant? Haha.

Yes, it’s time for NEW BREEDS that will create a ‘nerve-wrecking’ sound to the older breeds. It is now their turn.

And director Law Fajardo simply proved them right.

“THE STRANGERS” ranked as the second best film we saw in the past year of 2012. Mabuhay!!!

P.S.: This film deserves a Part Two!


(written by robert manuguid silverio)

The Strangers
Directed by Lawrence Fajardo
Produced by Joji Alonso
Written by
screenplay: John Bedea
story: John Bedea
Bing Lao
Henry Burgos
Story by John Bedea, Bing Lao, Henry Burgos
Starring Julia Montes
Enrique Gil
JM De Guzman
Enchong Dee
Cherry Pie Picache
Janice de Belen
Jaime Fabregas
Johnny Revilla
Cinematography Louie Quirino
Editing by Lawrence Fajardo
  • Quantum Films
  • MJM Productions
Distributed by Star Cinema
Release date(s)
  • December 25, 2012
Country Philippines
  • Tagalog
  • English
Box office 79.6 million