REVIEW: Mallari - Let Loose the Serial Killer!

I feel that Pinoy horror and thrillers are making a comeback in Philippine cinema, and for the Metro Manila Film Festival 2023 we actually have two, one is Kampon and the other one is MALLARI which stars Piolo Pascual. This movie is made by  Mentorque Productions, and for a first in a very long time will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

From the title Mallari, it is a different take about the notorious first recorded Filipino serial killer who is also a parish priest, Severino Mallari. Though it does not take place exclusively on the original time period. For this movie Piolo Pascual will take on three characters in different time periods all leading to the same family and the secrets that they hold.

Along with the serial killings made by Padre Severino Mallari, there is also an element of the Pinoy mystic creatures and witchcraft which also adds to the complexities of his character. Actually the mystic elements to the film overtook the grim reality of the serial killings which the story is primarily about. Though if you would look at the accounts of the killings of Mallari, the motivations for the killings were more of getting rid of the scums of the earth or which is like acting like a vigilante in the night. 

Each timeline also has characters that made their marks like JC Santos who also won the Best Supporting Actor Award, Elisse Joson as Felicity the wife of Jonrey Mallari, Gloria Diaz who is Doña Facunda Mallari a pivotal character for the development of the ruthless serial killer. 

Production for all timelines were very detailed and the director said that they almost built an entire town including a church to give it a very authentic feel. There are several jumpscares but the thrill is in the small details that leads to the climatic end of the movie which seems trivial at first but plants the seeds of suspense all throughout the movie. 

It also won the award for Best Musical Score and Best Visual Effects which is truly deserved and elevated the experience which we felt when watching Hollywood thriller films. All of these might have impressed Warner Bros Pictures to include it in its roster and the only film of the Metro Manila Film Festival 2023 to have this partnership.

I guess along with Shake Rattle and Roll Extreme, this is now of the best Pinoy thriller/horror film of 2023.

Mallari stars Piolo Pascual, JC Santos, Elisse Joson, Warner Bros Pictures, Janella Salvador, and Gloria Diaz. Directed by Roderick Cabrido, produced by Mentorque Productions, and distributed by  Warner Bros. Pictures.

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