Richard Somes / Philippines / 2008 / 93 min
Part melodrama, part horror film, YANGGAW is a poignant tale of a father’s relentless desire to care for his troubled family in the rural Philippines. Junior (played flawlessly by Ronnie Lazaro, a Lav Diaz regular) is the unlucky parent of Amor, a young woman who returns home with an illness that mutates her into the bloodthirsty monster Aswang, a feared (and classic) Filipino legend. Refusing to lose his daughter to the disease, Junior journeys from hospitals to clinics, desperate to find a cure. YANGGAW is a perfect allegory for rural life in the Phillippines and the struggles families face there, from poverty to intolerance. Director Richard Somes handles the melodrama masterfully and throws in moments of absolute terror that are sure to keep you awake at night. Breaking from the mold of most clichéd Asian horror films, YANGGAW’s stylistic cinematography and profound storytelling makes it a must-see film. Masashi Niwano This screening is part of SFIAAFF29’s After Death: Retrospective on Horror Cinema of South East Asia.
- Director: Richard Somes
- Executive Producer: Ronald Arguelles, Mai-Mai Montelibano
- Cinematographer: Hermann Claravall, Lyle Sacris
- Writer: Richard Somes
- Editor: Borgy Torre