Written By: CM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Erik Matti
Producers: Ronald ‘Dondon’ Monteverde, Erik Matti, Quark Henares, Joe Caliro
Writers: Katski Flores, Erik Matti
Date Released: May 15, 2019 (Phillipines)
Sharon Cuneta as Dr. Rebecca Fajardo
John Arcilla as Arturo Fajardo
Kent Gonzalez as Luis Fajardo
Pam Gonzales as Manuela Fajardo
Guila Alvarez as Salve
Rating: 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Upon the news of his sister Pam’s sudden death, college student Kent Gonzalez returns home to mourn with his submissive mom Rebecca and his abusive father Arturo. After long nights of getting visits from the ghost of his deceased sister, Kent realizes that his parents are hiding the truth about her death and feels guilty about his lack of presence in her life.
There’s quite a lot of gore present in most of the scenes. The production was not as great, but believable enough. It should also be noted that in these scenes, some people might get triggered as it includes portrayals of physical and emotional abuse.
The Grave Review
The direct translation of the title Kuwaresma is Lent. In this 2019 Filipino film directed by Erik Matti, this title does absolutely nothing to the story. It wasn’t set during the lenten season nor was it any type of metaphor to the Catholic tradition. Perhaps this is why its English title was renamed as The Entity, an accurate, but still lousy name for a movie that was half-baked and all over the place.
Starring one of the country’s biggest veteran actresses Sharon Cuneta, Kuwaresma (2019) dabbles both into social horror and the traditional demonic story which ended up being a tangled mess in the end. With its 113-minute running time, the film didn’t manage to fully develop one angle of the story right. It was ambitious; it aimed to join the woke bandwagon with its lectures on mental health, gender politics, and feminism. At the same time, it tried to stay true to the satisfying aspects of a good gory horror film with a formula that is just tired at this point.
The end result, however, was a poor attempt at a political statement. It was a waste of effort trying to build up these complex conversations on abuse and trauma when they ended up blaming everything on a haunted house and a demon. When the film ended, nothing made sense. The story went everywhere. Everything was also crammed within 2 hours that the viewers couldn’t keep up.
A demon possessing the patriarch, a haunted house, a psychic trying to summon the demon in the end, a big realization for the final girl to stand up for herself—these are just some of the clichés in the film. Not to mention the parts where the ghost of Luis’ sister haunts the household, which looked like parodic clips that belong more in the Scary Movie franchise. Despite the award-winning actors’ admirable attempt at turning the cliché into a somewhat decent horror film, it still didn’t deliver with its anticlimactic plot twists and cheesy plotlines.
The sad part is, Kuwaresma (2019) is considered to be one of the better horror movies in mainstream cinema. It just goes to show that in the Philippines, horror still has a long way to go.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Kuwaresma (2019) two graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review of the film, Woman of Mud.