Overhyped and Tragic: A Review on Tragic Theater

10:06 PM

The Official Theatrical Poster of Tragic Theater
Courtesy of www.philippineedition.com

The trailer of Tragic Theater roused the curiosity of many after it made rounds online following the decision of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to give the trailer an X rating.  True enough, the trailer itself is promising and had movie aficionados hopeful.

And probably, just like everyone who already watched the movie, I walked out of the theater feeling cheated.  If you are looking for a horror movie where you'll scream on top of your lungs, Tragic Theater is not for you. It offers a different kind of spook, one that makes you hold on to your seat. But that is really it.  You'll end up waiting for that moment.  It doesn't freak you out but doesn't make your hair stand either.

Tragic Theater is VIVA's first offering this year.  Directed by Tikoy Aguiluz, the movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same title written by G.M. Coronel.  It centers on the terrifying story of the Manila Film Center.  In 1981, the building collapsed during construction and although only seven were reported dead, it is believed that the incident had more than a hundred casualties and their souls haunt, or even torment the place since then.

Stills from Viva Films.

The movie's main heroine is Annie (played by Andi Eigenmann), a rape victim who now works at the Department of Tourism.  She was tasked to check whether the place is haunted, ward off those spirits, so that the agency may rehabilitate the theater for use.  She seeks the help of Father Nilo (John Estrada) and his team of spirit communicators to help her with the assignment.

The film was bombarded with too much imagery that leaves the viewers clueless.  A white cloth with numerous writing and what could be the seal of the Society of Jesuits (that IHS symbol inside a circle, correct me if the jargon is wrong), Random scenes are not pieced together to mean something, looking like fillers to make the movie reach the two-hour mark, instead.  These random scenes could at times look funny instead of spooky.

The portrayal of the actors was unfortunately underwhelming.  Andi is playing an uninteresting lead role.  However, she fails to deliver a meatier portrayal of Annie which could have given her character color.  Her periods of bafflement were blank and her scenes requiring her to be vehement were blah.

Stills from noeljose.com

While certain instances of the film hints that there might or could have been more between Annie and Father Nilo's friendship, John Estrada fails to establish this one in his scenes with Andi.  While it may turn out as something pulled out from teenage romance chick flicks, additional gestures or more subtle hints could have added more meaning to those hints.

Roxanne Barcelo, although playing a minor role as a spirit communicator, portrayed her character really well.  She delivered the needed emotions at the right time, making us believe that she is experiencing moments of fright.  The other spirit communicators also did a better job than those who are playing the lead.  Unfortunately, such amazing performances from minor roles are not enough to save the film.

Roxanne Barcelo proved that she can shine even with a minor role.
Photo from philstar.com

Overall, Tragic Theater could be one of those movie adaptations that did not give justice to the book.  It was overhyped and perhaps, the MTRCB's R-16 rating was not because of the fright factor but on some graphic scenes, including Andi's rape scene.  While we expect a frightening movie date, it's faithfulness to the Roman Catholic exorcism, which is, presumably, taken also from the book, didn't work.  When we moviegoers, expected to see more, all we got from the movie was what was exactly from the trailer, although this time, the whole does not match the brilliance of the two-minute sneak peek.

Now I'm dying to find a copy of the book. I know it won't be as tragic as the film.


  1. Nice review! I hope you can also check my review about this movie too. We almost have the same judgment/opinion about the film.

    Tragic Theater Movie Review by Louise

    1. Hello Louise! Thank you for reading my blog. I've read your review too and it was good. And I think we can both recommend to watch the trailer alone because that's the movie as a whole. HAHA. (Oops! Spoiler ako sa readers!)

  2. Watch Online All Latest Filipino Movies 2016 And Get Full Info About Upcoming Movies And Watch Trailers Online Visit Full Movies Online


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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..