|DVD The Healing
Genres: Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Director: Chito S. Roño
Writers: Chito S. Roño, Roy Iglesias
Stars: Vilma Santos, Kim Chiu, Janice de Belen
The Healing is a story of Filipino tradition wherein people are asking for help on treatment of diseases. A news about the miraculous works of a faith healer spread all over attracting the attention of people suffering from various illness coming from everywhere.All of the sudden, the faith healer stops her “healing” sessions but was forced by a new group of patient. Written by ledster
|Plot Keywords: faith healer, disease, broken glass, loss of daughter, superhuman strength|
Release Date: 25 July 2012 (Philippines)
"The Healing" is a horror film by Chito S. Roño starring Vilma Santos and Kim Chiu. The movie revolves around the risks of believing in faith healers and the consequential phenomenon of evil doppelgängers.
I am glad that this is not a horror flick taken from worn-out concepts. The idea of doppelgängers is not popular in our culture, but the writers managed to come up with an engaging storyline combining it with superstition and folklore.
After watching the R-18 version of the movie, I can easily tell which scenes were omitted from the R-13 version. I commend director Chito Roño for his audacity in this project. The movie is raging with startling murder and death scenes. It departs from the usual fare and becomes one of the most gruesome Pinoy movies in recent years.
In terms of writing, the movie is unstrikingly average. After the first character dies, you already knew how the rest of the story would go. The script heavily employs elements of "Feng Shui" and the "Final Destination" series. The suspense relies on the viewer's anticipation on how the next victim will die.
There were glaring loopholes in the story at the end of film, which makes me think that they're trying to come up with a sequel. I felt that the conclusion was either rushed or not given much thought, which was disappointing considering the number of script consultants from Star Cinema that this movie had when I checked the closing credits.
By the end of the movie, the biggest question left upon the viewers is the mystery behind the film's intriguing color schemes. It appears that the film was somehow divided into chapters with the enigmatic use of color coding. You can see the characters prominently dressed in blue, red, and yellow as some sort of a uniform. The set design, costumes and props complement the same colors ubiquitously shown at certain parts of the movie, though no clear explanation was given to explicate the meaning behind it. It's so vague it becomes pointless. One could be forgiven for thinking that the 'blue chapter' was just a lame ploy to bring into mind Ate Vi's Bear Brand endorsement.
Other minute observations: The opening credits did not complement the material. The use of special effects was so-so. The casting was great and the actors showed some believable acting (especially Vilma Santos and Janice de Belen).
Though Filipino horror has yet to find its true strength, you can fairly say that it has evolved with this film. With its well-defined characters and a taste for gore, "The Healing" is a notch above the rest. It's better than most local scare flicks produced in recent years, notwithstanding its flaws and weaknesses. As a horror film, its impotent scares is insufficient to produce a desired effect. It fares better as an accidental slasher film.
Last 29th Of July 2012 Watching "The Healing" Is A Straightforward Supernatural Thriller It is a Counterpart of The 2007 Korean Thriller "Voices" So this movie has eerie, gruesome, bloody, and Disturbing Effects,No Long-Haired Female Spirits,But Psychotic Persons And Buckets of Blood and Gore,The film tells the story of Ghostly Visions,Faith Healing, And Demon Possessions. The film follows Seth (Vilma Santos) brings her sick father Odong (Robert Arevalo) To a Mysterious Female Healer Manang Elsa (Daria Ramirez) To cure his stroke Manang Elsa gives her a Herbal Medication so in order to be healed,But Elsa becomes ill and was coerced by Seth and her Family to heal one of her friends and Family Members,All at Once they were miraculously cured and their wish was granted,But at the same time it turned into a day of Terror and Blood,When one of Seth,s Family Members ,Loved Ones and Friends ends up possessed by unseen dark forces,And turning into Bloodthirsty Savages and starts to commit bloody homicides and suicide attempts,Strange and Weird Things starts on-going Now Seth has disturbing dreams and strange visions including a black crow and Doppelgangers of her Friends,With the help of Elsa,s Brother (Joel Torre) Who holds the secret key on what way to Destroy The Curse ,He reveals to her the Mystery of How Her Sister brings back to life a dead man named Dario(Jhong Hilario) And the dark secret was The lives of those who were cured from their diseases will be taken away so that Dario May live fully,He also told Seth the best way to Put an End to the curse is to Liquidate Dario so that his malevolent corpse will not live. I really hope that "The Healing" Is Counterpart of 1976's "The Omen" and 1998's "Ringu",So when you are cured by a Faith Healer whom you have visited Watch Your Step,So you will be safe from the Curse,But "BEWARE" There,s Something Sinister and Evil is coming your way!
The Healing has all the earmarks of a fairly typical Filipino horror movie. It takes some element of our local folklore (in this case, faith healers) and brings it to horrific ends. But the movie turns out to be much more than that. Though it stalls the action a little too much, the film is still undeniably fun. It cleverly works in a bit of humor within all the grisly action, and adds a plethora of stylistic touches to make everything feel just a little bit different.
Seth (Vilma Santos) takes her stroke-stricken father (Robert Arevalo) to see a faith healer. The next day, he miraculously recovers from his ailment. Amazed by the recovery, Seth's neighbors all implore her to take them to the healer. Her son from an annulled marriage Jed (Martin del Rosario) also asks her to help him take his stepsister Cookie (Kim Chiu) to be healed. When they arrive, the healer refuses to see them due to her own sickness. But they all insist, and the healer eventually relents. Everybody soon recovers from his or her afflictions, but it turns out that the healing comes at a price. Seth's entire community is thrown into chaos, and she has to figure out what went wrong.
The movie suffers from a very common horror movie complaint. The characters are entirely too passive about serious problems. The characters figure out the connection between violent events and the healing quickly enough, but it takes them forever to do anything about it. Movies tend to need characters to be active, trying to solve their problems with whatever resources are available to them. Having said that, the movie does a great job of surrounding the central conflict with interesting little details. There's a funny, subversive edge to the way the community is written, and a genuinely crushing dilemma complicating the eventual solution.
The film isn't afraid to get a little goofy, offsetting the violence and darkness with tinges of humor. What could've been generic horror movie stuff is enlivened by a slight satirical bent that takes to task the very concept of healing. And the film thrives on its relationships, building real stakes out of few well-placed lines of duologue. The production looks quite accomplished, and the film makes room for quite a few stylistic touches. Most noticeably, the film marks its movements by having the characters dress in the same color. It's not entirely clear what the point of it is, but it does make the film more visually interesting.
Vilma Santos is really quite exceptional in her more mature roles. Despite being who she is, she still somehow manages to disappear into the role, latching on to little bits of character that tear away the veneer of glamor and celebrity. She is an every woman in this role, struggling to understand a dilemma that's far beyond her capacity. A strong ensemble cast backs her up. Robert Arevalo plays her father with an endearing lack of vanity. Allen Paule shines while playing the constant skeptic. Janice De Belen proves yet again to be one of the finest players in the industry today. The cast as a whole is able to make the more clever bits of script really work, and that's a fine achievement.
The Healing could a little tighter. The characters spend too much time not doing anything about their predicament, which makes it feel like they're just courting danger. But if one can overlook that little wrinkle, the movie is just a whole lot of fun. It has an inspired sense of self, a personality beyond what we've come to expect in every horror feature. I would note that people ought to seek out the R18 version of the picture, which is the more complete vision of the film. A film that strives to be so unique ought to be given that consideration.
I am a fan of Filipino horror films as I have mentioned in other reviews. "The Healing" features a big Filipino movie star, Ms. Vilma Santos, in a rare appearance in a horror film. It is also helmed by a director who had been responsible for two of the best Filipino horror films in the last decade, "Feng Shui" (2004) and "Sukob" (2006). The well-made teaser trailer was an effective come-on. It was a given that I should also check out this particular film.
Ms. Vilma plays Seth, a woman who runs a boarding house in a middle- class community in the city. After her father (Robert Arevalo) was successfully treated of his post-stroke condition by a faith healer named Elsa (Daria Ramirez), five of her friends and neighbors all convince Seth to bring them to Elsa to treat them of their various medical maladies. In addition, her son Jed (Martin del Rosario) also brought along his half-sister Cookie (Kim Chiu) so her kidney ailment could be cured.
After that day of the fateful healing, one by one, everyone in that group treated by Elsa begins dying of strange circumstances, each one more bizarre than the last. Before each death, Seth would be visited by a crow and a puzzling vision of her friend's doppelganger. Seth now has to race against time to find out why this macabre series of deadly events is happening and hopefully stop it before everyone in the group kicks the bucket.
After the first side character dies, you already knew how the story would go. The suspense you will feel as you watch on will be more in anticipation of which gory method with which that character will die, not exactly because you do not know what will happen next. To Rono's credit, each death scene somehow topped the previous one in as much as the blood factor is concerned.
The acting performances were nothing to be excited about. Everyone did well at looking scared. Ms. Vilma Santos is Ms. Vilma Santos. She doesn't really disappear into her role as Seth. Kim Chiu appeared in very few scenes despite her second billing. Like on TV, she needs more energy in her performance though. I did not know Martin del Rosario before this movie, but he actually delivered very well in his meaty role as Jed. Special mention would have to go to Robert Arevalo for daringly delivering the most embarrassing lines in the movie — funny! Not really sure why Ynez Veneracion had to show her right boob though, maybe for old times sake.
Several camera angles used by Mr. Rono were very well-planned and executed to maximize the tension on screen. Like other productions I see now, there was color coordination in the costumes of all the characters on screen. Here though, I did not quite see why a certain color was chosen for which scene. It was also distracting sometimes to see the common color scheme continuing into subsequent unrelated scenes. The usual scare tactics and music were employed here — nothing highly original. But thankfully, at least there was NO Sadako-like creature in this one.
Overall, it is just OK. I think that "The Healing" had been too reminiscent of other horror films the way the friends of the lead character were dying around her and it is up to her to break the curse. If it was Kris Aquino who played Seth instead of Vilma Santos, it would just be "Feng Shui" all over again.