He's thinking, "Sweet, sweet glory hole..."
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: An ex-con moves into his dead mother's apartment only to discover she may have died at the hands of ghosts.
Review: I think "Sigaw" may have the (dis)honor of being the only Filipino horror movie that got the Hollywood remake treatment. Not sure why they'd pick this one over something like "Sukob," but at least they kept the original director and brought back the main ghost, played by Iza Calzado. While many of "Sigaw's" mistakes have been corrected, a whole slew of new problems are introduced. The two films are of comparable quality when all things are considered, but, if I must choose, I'd say "Sigaw" pushes ahead of this movie by a small degree. You wouldn't think the tale of a haunted apartment would be this difficult to get right.
The biggest improvements are tightened pace and clarity added to the story. Though, despite these changes, I can't ignore the continued inclusion of endless filler scenes. The picture quality is cleaned up, but I do miss that shitty grain; it adds a certain charm to the production. Effort is put into making the ghosts scary this time around, however, I believe this is done for the wrong reasons. I'll give some credit for trying to do more with the main characters' background rather than them simply existing pointlessly. Of note is the new girlfriend, played by Amelia Warner, who is surprisingly hotter than the luscious Angel Locsin! Overall, the production is of a higher quality that just makes everything feel better on a technical front.
With a second shot at this same story, you'd think the director would really nail it this time around. Nope. We no longer have the twist to work with since there is no overlap of events. In fact, the setup is a lot dumber considering these ghosts are running wild and people simply ignore them. The previous backstory for the ghosts is mostly glossed over here in order to establish them as a wannabe Saeki family. This annoyed me greatly since these ghosts seemingly kill people yet no one died in the original. On top of that, there are many throwaway scares that make no sense in the film's context (like the main dude seeing his mom's ghost). Then there are outright moronic choices such as including a creepy, old lady that contributes absolutely nothing to the plot and disappears entirely at one point. The lame drama for the main characters felt lame and forced to the point where you are simply rolling your eyes. I don't mind exploring the characters, but did we need to see cornball as fuck scenes of the girlfriend discussing with a classmate whether to get together with the main guy? Is this high school? I don't know how to explain it other than to say the material is not fully taken seriously. I don't know why they bothered bringing back Ms. Calzado either if they are going to greatly diminish her role. Finally, the ending is beyond lackluster...it actually should be a terrible conclusion for the leads. The main dude will probably be blamed for the deaths caused by the ghosts (especially his boss that had fired him for stealing), he is already technically wanted by the police, and we don't even know if his girlfriend will survive. Furthermore, the way the ghosts resolve their issues was somehow more nonsensical than "Sigaw." Don't give me that slow piano bullshit--this isn't a happy ending!
Realistically, these two films are simply mediocre. There are positive aspects, but they are fundamentally cancelled out by the negatives. For the remake specifically, the technical achievements are respectable whereas the story is full of painful mistakes. The slow pacing was a major problem with "Sigaw," however, the glaring issue with this movie is how distracted it is by the side drama; it needed focus on the important parts involving the ghosts and their plight. I almost get the feeling that the script was cut to pieces before (or during) filming which resulted in this choppy sensation between the scenes. I'm sure others might get more out of these two films than I, but there is way, way better Asian horror out there.
Notable Moment: First they include, what appears to be, a glory hole (god knows why), but then they had a shot with someone putting their fingers through it? Whaaat?! Oh goodness gracious. No one thought this might look...uhh...suggestive?
Final Rating: 5/10