The first sound film in the Philippines was Ang aswang in 1933, a horror movie. The movie dealt with a Filipino folklore monster the Aswang, a vampire-like creature. I can’t find much else about the film so I presume that it must be lost.
The Philippines has had a long established film industry, like a few countries that I have already mentioned. It flourished in the 1930’s but slowed down during WWII when it was occupied by Japan. After the war things picked up again and the 1950’s and ’60s saw a huge increase in Filipino film production. The ’60s saw an increase in knock-off spy films, westerns, bomba films and musicals. By the 1970’s there was a ton of international films getting made in the Philippines due to the cheap production costs. There was also martial law in place and there were harsh restrictions on the Filipino films that were made there. Despite this several filmmakers moved to making more avant-garde films.
The ’80s and ’90s saw the fall of the dictatorship and more commercial films were getting made. Comedies and dramas reigned supreme. By the 2000’s the film industry was in a decline but horror movies started a comeback.
There have been a ton of horror movies to choose from but today’s horror film is The Healing (2012). Vilma Santos takes her father to a faith healer. He had suffered a stroke. After the healing he seems to be as good as new. The neighbourhood notice his recovery and want to know how it happened. Soon everyone wants to see the healer. They all have ailments that they want cured. Also Santos’ son wants to take his half-sister there to cure her of her illness. After all the healings everyone that was cured suddenly starts acting strange. First a woman stabs a person on the street and then kills herself. Soon everyone that was healed seems to be on a murderous rampage. Santos and her son start looking into the killings trying to get to the bottom of it all.
The film is pretty good. It plays with witchcraft and the supernatural a little and creates a decent thrill flick. It was directed by Chito S. Roño who has made several acclaimed Filipino films, a good chunk of them horror movies. Other horror movies that he has made include T2, Feng Shui and Shake, Rattle and Roll 14 : The Invasion, the first horror film to receive an all age rating in the Philippines.