Let’s get straight to the point: If you are planning to watch Pwera Usog in cinemas, I suggest you change your plans, look for another movie to watch, and wait for it on DVDs or on your local movie channel.
Indie film writer and director Jason Paul Laxamana’s Pwera Usog is about a group of millennial brats who defines the world they live in through the hits, likes, comments, and shares of their videos. Jean (Sophia Andres) and her two stereotypical bratty friends, Bobbie (Albie Casino) and Val (Cherise Castro), pranks people and post it online to go viral. One day, Jean persuaded her well-mannered, super cute ex-boyfriend Sherwin (Joseph Marco) to drive them out of town for a road trip. On one of their stops in an abandoned building, they encountered a beggar named Luna (Devon Seron), and decided to prank. The prank went horribly wrong causing Luna to have a fatal accident. After that day, they started feeling unusual things like nightmares where they see a shadowy figure, and getting extremely sick.
Laxamana’s storytelling was good. It has all the Filipino horror essentials that makes us rattle – scary looking characters, a lot of gooey liquid we watched while growing up, suspense sound effects, and disturbing background stories. He also showed different old albularyo rites which is a good point considering that the healing of faith healers have evolved. With effort a lot of effort, the film still does not pass as a horror movie because it lacks something else. Let’s face the fact that it would take more than all the horror film essentials combined to scare today’s audience. The movie was also patterned from previous Filipino horror movies which makes it easy to predict what will happen next. The characters are so stereotyped that you would not be surprise if they make a stupid decision along in the movie.
Yet, we cannot let Laxamana’s efforts to still make the movie entertaining unrecognizable. From time to time, you will find yourself liking a scene because of its humour and wit. This shows that the director knows the limitation and lapses of the film, and tries to fill it with something else.
Kudos to the team for producing this film, but I still think audience should just wait for it to be shown on television.