Nilalang as a premise had so much promise. Anyone who has seen the trailers saw a visual spectacle with just the right amount of grit and mystery to perhaps capture the magic of urban horror that is right at home in the Philippine setting.
Seeing as the film swept the technical awards during awards night, one might be inclined to think this is a really great film to watch. Unfortunately, everything else about the film held it back from the greatness that was right at its fingertips. Let me count the ways Nilalang blew it and perhaps why the film has quickly been pulled out of cinemas, no pun intended.
Obviously, there will be spoilers. If you’re still interested in watching the film (WHY), feel free to check out another 8List. Otherwise, keep scrolling.
And by “too dark,” I don’t mean “dark and gritty” at all. Instead, we’re talking about the fact that night scenes don’t really let you see anything and thus, the visual spectacle of Maria Ozawa doing martial arts looks downright terrible and could lead to eye strain, more than her older videos ever did.
For a technically sound film, this seems to be a glaring oversight.
Why would anyone have to do anything at any specific point at all? The vengeful spirit after Maria Ozawa seems to be taking his sweet time and doesn’t even pose a threat until the people are trying to move out against him. Zahagur should be a class-A threat, but the disjointed storytelling made it seem like he was being an idiot all throughout.
If he can possess multiple people at a time, or jump from body to body, what prevents him from jumping to Cesar Montano’s body when he begins to have the upper hand on Maria Ozawa? It doesn’t make any sense because nobody bothered explaining the scope of his power. Is he omnipotent? Why did he wait all this time to deal with his targets?
People stumble from set piece to set piece without any rhyme or reason. For a film that’s pretty exposition-heavy, the exposition explains nothing and just takes away from the action. Despite all that, the so-called action makes no sense, either. Why would the Yakuza be holding the book of Ishi? Why can’t Zahagur infiltrate that and get or destroy the book? Who’s writing this crap?!?