The Drudgeon reviews Patient X

Patient X 93 min., 2009
Written by Aloy Adlawan/Yam Laranas
Directed by Yam Laranas
Language: Tagalog
My rating: ★

A pretty film with pretty bad everything else.

* * *

The movie begins with Guada (Cristine Reyes) running with a young Lukas. They approach a house that has a man standing outside and she begs him to let them go, as the boy runs into the house. Once in, the boy finds his parents dead and his brother fighting for his life, which doesn’t work ‘cause they end up killing him. Years pass and Lukas is now grown up (Richard Gutierrez) and he gets a call that they found who killed his family. He shows up and sees that they are holding Guada, who confesses to the whole thing. But outside the hospital there are some Aswang that are trying to get her back, because she’s one as well. Can Lukas forgive Guada and save her or is everyone doomed?

The acting really surprised me in this movie, but in a bad way. Richard Gutierrez did such a great job in Sigaw that the fact that he did such a terrible job in this one just confused me. He had problems even showing off the most common emotions and most of his dialogue was spoken with no feeling at all. It was more like he was reading instead of acting. Then we have Cristine Reyes and her lack of emotion as well. She at least seemed like she was trying, but she apparently doesn’t know how to act either. Then there is supposed to be a connection between them and with both not being able to show any feelings, it just falls flat and fizzles even before it begins.

The effects in the movie are just terrible. With bad wirework, poor use of blood and a lack of any real wounds (or when and where they got them) the movie again falls flat. The Aswang are “playing” with some of their victims and tossing them around, but it just looks silly when the bodies flip over three or four times. It didn’t look like playing, it just felt like they were saying (hell yelling) look at our effects aren’t they so modern. Almost all of the effects are the same and it’s just sad. If they just stuck to more simple effects or didn’t shove them in your face, it would have worked twenty times better.

The plot is one thing about the movie that I really enjoyed. SPOILER: Having someone you have grown up with (albeit briefly) and had a really good and loving relationship with, and then you come to find out that they are the reason everything that is bad going on around, including the death of your family, is really hard to handle. Then toss in the fact that you still have feelings for them and then toss in that they aren’t even human and you have a whole different ball of wax to deal with. It’s a pretty cool story and most of the ideas are pretty solid, but everything is overshadowed by the poor quality of everything else.

As a whole this movie just sucks. You have a great director and a pretty cool plot, but the acting and effects destroy anything that is good about it. Then again there are a whole bunch of beautiful shots that make you appreciate almost every scene, but it’s just not enough to save the movie. So just avoid this one and stick to the better Filipino movies like Sigaw, Feng Shui, Oujia or Sukob.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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