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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles

The Philippines has a very rich culture. Folklore for one, is the best example of how imaginative our ancestors are. Since we are kids, we are bombarded by stories about Aswang, Tiktik, Kapre and Manananggal. Either our parents enjoys the thought of us being afraid or they just simply want us to stay home at night, but these stories make up our childhood. For years, Shake, Rattle and Roll delivered folklore to the modern era but we are getting tired on the concept of the series. Tiktik is a risk, financially and of quality.

Makoy (Dantes) will do everything to get Sonia (Poe) back in his life together with their unborn baby. He sets a trip to Sonia's province to fetch her and bring her back to Manila. Makoy is your usual conceited type of guy who would bad-ass everyone in his way. This is not a good indication for someone who visits a place for the first time. As the saying goes, be polite to the people you don't personally know and you will be leaving the place alive and with complete body parts, with Makoy, the attitude follows various conflicts. When the news of Sonia being pregnant was known by a group of people living in the hills, the race to survival reached in a greaters heights as the infant-hungry Aswangs raids Sonia's house trying to acquire the unborn child. 

The film stays true to the concept of Philippine folklore. The strength and weaknesses were covered with some funny exceptions. The movie is not entirely a horror film and follows the concept of Bulong. Tiktik is amusing in various ways. Visually, the film is stunning. Erik Matti and his graphics designer put enough effort to the technology they used. The same approach was used in making films like 300, Sin City and Watchmen. This is a first for Philippine Cinema. For years, they has been a lot of attempts in using 3D animation in fantasy movies like Agimat and Enteng but even with those two combined, they could not surpass the quality of animation and background effects of Tiktik. If I were to ask, GMA films should have released this during the MMFF festival and it will surely be a hit and that P80 Million budget would be just a 1php in the sidewalk. 

While film boasts of great imagery, it also gives out rich cultural references as well as accuracy in terms of production design. The house where Sonia lives is like an exact replica of the houses in the provinces, sturdy, has a mini-veranda, owner-type jeep, laminated diplomas, old wooden furniture and that murky environment complete with gravel and dust. With this, the film already succeeded. While I abhor obvious product endorsement in films, Tiktik is an exception. 

The cast did well with their parts. I am surprised with Joey Marquez as he was not that effective as a comedian with earlier films, but with Tiktik, he simply geared up a notch and was really good in comic timing. Ramon Bautista's character Bart stole the show as he displayed a few antics that really make you laugh. Janice De Belen excels as the typical provincial mother. Basically, it was the veteran actors who excelled in this film and it was not a surprise. 

Director Erik Matti may have delivered his finest film to date. Dingdong Dantes may have his best film made. Tiktik is one of the films that dares to be different and take the risk and they succeeded. There was a right mix of fun and tension in Tiktik, something that has been long forgotten by film makers in the Philippines. And oh, please remind me to stack a bunch of Boy Bawang, it might come in handy.



1 comment:

  1. This movie is really great compared to other Filipino horror stories. The graphics is really cool and the story plot is interesting. The producers did well in producing this kind of movie.