Written By: ACP
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director(s): Yam Laranas
Writers(s): Yam Laranas, Gin de Mesa
Producer(s): Vic del Rosario Jr., Vincent Paolo
Date Released: December 25, 2018
Anne Curtis as Leana
Phoebe Villamor as Rita
Allan Paule as Eddie
Ricardo Cepeda as Coast Guard
Andrea Del Rosario as Celine
Marco Gumabao as Ricky
Mercedes Cabral as Delia
Arnold Reyes as Philip
Ruby Ruiz as Mrs. Castro
Sue Prado as Mrs. Amado
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Aurora is the name of the ship that has collided against the giant rocks near the shore where Leana and her sister Rita reside. Headed by the coast guard, the investigation is put to an early end as there is no more way to retrieve the dead bodies stuck in the chambers of the unfortunate vessel. Ubestknown to the government, some grieving families, such as Mrs. Castro’s and Mrs. Amado’s, offer Leana money in exchange for every dead body she could bring back. She enlists the help of friends from the seaside village, and together they uncover the watery graves and secrets of the blue.
The drowned and dead are portrayed throughout the movie in various states of decay, some of which are scary, some are not. Drowned does not mean a typical presentation of bloated and pale, but also burned, charred, and mutilated because of the explosions that happened within the ship as it sank. Prosthetics were not as convincing though, as everything appears to be just chunks of red mess. A notable scenario would be the appearance of the dead captain’s white-eyed ghost inside Leana’s house, where he opened his mouth until he dislocates his jaw.
The Grave Review
In order to appreciate the “hauntingness” of Aurora (2018), do not focus on the apparitions or the prosthetics. The film pulls us into a deeper (literally!) horror by showing the disastrous relationship of mighty nature and human greed. Thinking about the deep, unfathomable sea is uncomfortable for some. As a matter of fact, there is a phobia named after the fear of bodies of water, thalassophobia. The movie frequently shows different angles of the ocean, from a bird’s eye view to a fish’s. It is also revealed that Aurora is overloaded, with the officials illegally letting passengers on as long as they can pay, meaning as long as these authorities can profit. It had been all about money. The coast guard wants to cut the investigation short to avoid the real number of victims being exposed. This proves the frightening consequence of human greed. The collision of the two factors is a harrowing scene of Leana and Rita being transported into a temporal dimension where the ship is currently sinking: screaming passengers like sardines buffeted against machines, burning, suffocating and eventually dying.
The rest of the characters, Eddie, Celine, Ricky, and Delia, are all made to be serious and grim following the inevitable bankruptcy of their fishing businesses on account of the shipwreck. They were able to execute their disillusioned personalities very well. A comment on Leana’s actress, though, she appears artificial at times. We almost feel that she’s only acting the role and not being the role. The music score leaned on the instrumental, orchestral side, and the color schemes used in the cinematography are mostly cool and dark, both being effective in highlighting the ominous sense of finality the ocean evokes.
Because of the above reasons, Grave Reviews gives Aurora (2018) two graves over five graves.
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