We saw 'Patient X' today at Premiere cinema, SM Mall of Asia on All Saint's Day (Nov. 1, 2009 Sunday).
I really like all Filipino films to succeed at the box-office and at the same time wishing all Filipino films to make it big internationally. I was expecting a high standard from these new breed of Filipino films specially those that were directed by Yam Laranas since I was blown away by his masterpiece of a film called 'Sigaw' and thrilled by its Hollywood counterpart 'The Echo'. Regretful to say, I was disappointed with PATIENT X, Yam Laranas' immediate follow-up movie.
Dr. Lucas (Richard Gutierrez) tries to rescue a pretty self-healing-like-Wolverine Aswang named Guada (Cristine Reyes) from the clutches of a vengeful cop played by TJ Trinidad. Guada was blamed for the murder of Dr. Lucas' brother but Guada insists that it was her Aswang husband named Marcus (Elvis Gutierrez) who've done it. Marcus along with 2 aswangs tries to regain back Guada in the hospital killing and heart poking people in the process.
Yam Laranas' manages to capture some exciting visuals and borrowed some of Michael Mann's shaky camera movements but the editing was a letdown. Some dragging scenes require some strict editing to heightened a sense of urgency. Some scenes needed some deletion to deter the silliness look of an aswang particularly the Dion Ignacio scenes. We already know that beheading of an Aswang is the way to kill them, beheading them with a standard bolo is expected and that's what we get thus making the scenes bland, very typical and tiresome. It could have been innovative or some clever way to behead them to make the scenes unique. The use of the defibrillator as a weapon to ward off Aswang is clever though!
Characterizations is a letdown too. Aswangs supposed to possess incredible strength but it wasn't established in the film, the fight scenes with Dr. Lucas and Marcus was lame. The Aswangs isn't convincing particularly Dion Ignacio who overacted his facial expressions and seems self-conscious on some scenes. The Miriam Quiambao character is reluctant and helpless which is very typical of other horror films in Hollywood. I already know she will succumb before her succumbing scene. The scene was almost eerily horrific until the fallen Quiambao scene was shown twice! again it requires deletion. The Dr. Lucas character is hard to comprehend, he tried to kill Guada uncontrollably with multiple gunshots on her chest then started to care for her later.
No matter how much I wanted the film to succeed because it's a Yam Laranas film and most of all, a Pinoy film but Patient X makes it hard for me to recommend it to anyone. The storyline is too thin, the scenes needed some refinements, hard to care for the characters, predictable, not scary, not unique, tiresome storyline, bland and boring. Sorry.
My Ratings: 1 out of 5 Biscuits !