Movie Review: The Healing

Jul 29, 2012 by

Chito Roño has not failed the audiences of The Healing in making them burst into screams and heart-stopping anticipation. Roño has mastered the craft of horror-suspense filmmaking and he has the gift of choosing who plays what. Starring Vilma Santos as Seth (in her first-ever Horror film starrer), The Healing anchors itself in a very familiar Filipino belief in traditional healing otherwise known as doctor quacks or the shamans. After a seemingly harmless healing session with Manang Elsa (played by Daria Ramirez) over Seth’s father who got well overnight, the whole neighborhood turned into fanatics in need of healing from their different illnesses. Mysterious incidents and gruesome acts slowly unfolded as days passed and that’s when the plot builds up taking us to a labyrinth of mystery, suspense and ultimately, horror.

1. The storytelling is impeccably clear. Roño knows how to tell a story in the simplest yet interesting way possible. Dialogues are delivered effortlessly and Vilma’s acting is — well, Vilma-esque. That’s basically what we came to watch for.

2. The production design employs a certain color-scheme segmentation. I am researching for the technical term in production design visuals but I am lacking of time, so I’ll leave it to your understanding especially after watching the movie. For a particular unit, what Roño did was use a specific particular color. The color-segments are so obvious because everything is clean. When it’s red, everything on the frame is red. When it’s blue, it’s blue and yellow when yellow. It’s an interesting technique and I’m still underway learning about it and why it had to be done.

3. The effects are good. The scoring is not distracting. The cinematography is traditional.

4. But what I find most disturbing is Vilma Santos’ photoshopped face. I know it is not the proper way to term it, but if you watch the film on 2D, you’ll notice that in an ensemble shot, everybody looks extremely crisp and the skin texture is lifelike — except for Ate Vi. Her face is hazy and layered you can tell they did something to her digitally. Her hands, however, tells us that her skin hasn’t successfully defied gravity.

5. Is it a must watch? Hmm. It’s one of those. But hey if you have some extra cash to spare and are in the mood to jerk on a fancy note, go to the cinema and watch.

A scene from the movie The Healing

Janice de Belen, Director Chito Roño, Vilma Santos, Kim Chiu and Pokwang


  1. MamaMonchang

    Kahit noong 1980’s ugatin na talaga ang kamay ni Vilma. I think nakuha niya yan after magbuntis kay Lucky. We all know na Vilma is already 58 years old. So hindi na tayo dapat nag eexpect na she will still look as fresh as before. Pero ang importante she still looks great at can still draw crowds sa box office. Kung nag pa photoshop si Ate Vi, eh di sana all throught the movie mukhang bata siya. Pero may mga shots na kita mo na may edad na siya. Alam naman natin yun lahat. Importante maganda pa rin siya.

    • admin

      I feel you. In fact, what I’m trying to drive at is aging is beautiful and it would not change anything with the way I admire Vilma Santos. Meryl Streep proudly delivers her films in all her wrinkled glory and she is still amazingly beautiful. Vilma Santos can do the same.

      (And yes, in the film The Healing, she really looked cloudy and hazy all throughout the film. I don’t think it’s in Vilma’s contract to be photoshopped, or is it?)

  2. fei

    I love blogs and I came across this page while I’m doing a research for Dinagyang updates. I tried to read all your film reviews for pinoy films and I can clearly conclude that you are biased..haha!All of the kapuso films has very nice reviews and the films which are produced by star cinema has very bad reviews and I think Star Cinema will never be the Philippines top grosser film maker for nothing,if Filipinos patronize those films and on your blogs it says that those films are very simple so you think Filipinos are just the easy go lucky and not considering film qualities?.If you are a blogger, I suggest sir that you should not be one-sided..its not just freedom of speech but you are writing to inform your readers not to pissed them off. I’m glad that you are endorsing Iloilo but please try to consider your readers not just your own opinion. Please try to read Kryz Uy’s blog, yes! she is a fashion blogger but she is really blogging to inform her readers and to amaze them not to screw them up. Comment lang mn na ang akon ah.Thanks!

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