6 December 2011 | Rusty-61
Worth a Watch for Genre Fans
The only Shake Rattle & Roll (awesome name for a horror franchise) I'd seen before this was one I rented On Demand, the description of which didn't bother to mention the installment was in Tagalog with no English subtitles. I still sat through it, more or less, and could still see it had some very creepy images and even plot twists.
The first story is the weakest, more a comedy than horror. Set-up for "The 13th Floor" sounded promising, but it's played as a comedy (and didn't succeed as one). The CGI was used in a slightly original way, but the effects were terrible enough that it just screeched to a halt. In fact, the FX, combined with the predictability of the plot, almost made the whole movie screech to a halt for me. However, before I kicked it out of the DVD player, I started looking at reviews online and saw most said the middle segment made SR&R 8 worth a rental. They were right, and I'm glad I watched the entire movie.
"Yaya" is indeed the most memorable of the lot, about an especially cute little boy who suspects something isn't right with his new nanny. His fears are confirmed, as he learns the folklore about "aswangs" from his teacher. Naturally, his mother and aunt just roll their eyes and assume someone's been telling him ghost stories. He sets out to discover a way to protect him and his baby sister, but soon realizes he may be in way over his head. The actor that plays the boy is really talented; I've seen a lot of terrible kid actors in foreign (and American) horror, so my expectations were low. Instead I was very impressed, this kid is talented. The segment probably wouldn't have worked as well if they hadn't cast an actor who could portray fear, as well as love for his family and protectiveness towards his baby sister so convincingly. Honestly, the majority of kids in horror movies get on my nerves, but I just wanted to give him a big hug. The aswang is genuinely frightening, enough that I decided partway through this installment that maybe it hadn't been a clever idea to watch it with all the lights off, and pause the movie to turn on all the lights in the room. As far as I could tell, the effects were mostly practical, and pretty good ones at that.
What I read about the third segment, LRT, didn't make it sound like anything special. I turned the lights back off when it started ...then realized I'd fall asleep easier that night with them on again. The subway monster has an original design, and is definitely not something you'd want to catch a glimpse of in an abandoned LRT tunnel (or anywhere for that matter). The characters mainly died in the order I expected them to (until the last 10-15 minutes), but that didn't make it any less entertaining to watch, and there was a pretty clever twist at the end--I didn't see it coming, and the reveal made the whole tone even more dark and creepy. The FX were played just right; the minor use of CGI just enhanced the practical effects. I heard a quote once about cosmetic surgery that I also heard several film-makers paraphrase- it shouldn't be used to turn an apple into an orange, but instead to make the original apple a shinier one. I didn't watch thinking, "Oh hey, there's some interesting CGI", instead I just thought how awesome the shots were in general.
So check it out. I'm going to start seeking out other installments, and hope that one story/segment is at least as entertaining as this one.