Your blogger and Guni-Guni cast member Benjamin Alves during the movie’s premiere night.
Upon the invitation of beauty queen-maker Jonas Gaffud, I had the pleasure of attending the premiere night of the movie “Guni-Guni
” at the SM Megamall last night. It was a successful event, with the cast and director lending their presence. Anyways, for those unfamiliar with the meaning of the Tagalog title, it literally refers to the figment of one’s imagination. But the film deals with it and a lot more. In fact, being a jaded horror movie watcher, I came out of the multiplex decently impressed.
courtesy of RegalCinema
Here are excerpts from the plot
“Thirty years ago, an unborn child was buried in the garden of what is now a boardinghouse in Cubao. It lies beneath the ground, unbeknownst to the tenants who live there. One of the tenants is Mylene (Lovi Poe) who appears like the perfect girl, nice, pretty and at the top of her Medicine class…
One day Mylene was asked to perform an abortion for a fee. She feels conflicted about doing what’ is right and, at the same time, being in dire need of tuition fee. Her decision ultimately leads to a dark outcome and awakens a force that has laid quiet for years in the boardinghouse grounds. Thereafter, she becomes tormented by nightmares of a dark twin, whose presence gets stronger as days pass, as strange things start to happen in the house. When one by one, the boarders die of unexplainable causes, Joanna (Empress Shuck) the resident psychic and Mylene’s best friend struggles to understand the impending danger that she senses and decides to get to the bottom of the mystery; and as it unravels, they find themselves confronted by an angry soul that seeks justice.”
This is the kind of horror flick which – if not handled right – would suffer from bad editing. Fortunately, Director Tara Illenberger is a topnotch film editor helming her first full-length mainstream feature. The series of flashbacks, dream sequences and non-stop scares is more than enough to confuse the amateur cutter. And while the plot may not sound original to some, there are new elements (such as conjoined twins, doppelgangers and the like) that add up to a tightly-woven entirety. The look and feel is typical classic. The different characters, though, have extra color such as those played by Lovi Poe, Gina Alajar and Julia Clarete. I won’t go into the fine details because this brief review is already sounding spoilerish. But rest assured, the climax makes a lot of sense, i.e., after the moviegoer pieces together the different hints on why an evil force has been wreaking havoc on each resident of the beleaguered boarding house.
Lovi Poe plays the role of a mysteriously scarred Medical student in the movie.
Acting-wise, Lovi Poe gives more credence to her rising popularity as the Princess of Horror Movies. She more than competently carries the weight of the whole film on her shoulders, and with able support from Empress, newcomer Benjamin Alves and a tandem of veterans (Gina Alajar and Jaime Fabregas) who make her character shine all throughout.
“Guni-Guni” is produced by Regal Entertainment. Directed by Tara Illenberger, it stars Lovi Poe, Empress Schuck, Benjamin Alves, Gina Alajar, Julia Clarete, James Blanco, Jaime Fabregas, Gerald Pesigan, Neil Ryan Sese, Guji Lorenzana and Ria Garcia. It opens nationwide today. Do catch it! 😉