This post is full of spoilers because frankly, who cares?
It’s interesting for me that despite an atrocious screenplay, I cannot seem to hate Villa Estrella (that much). Maybe because it didn’t even attempt to scare — the sea monster (yes, the mumu is a funny-looking monster played by Maja Salvador) doesn’t even shock or surprise. Instead, it announces its presence by bubbling itself up the pool, which makes one wonder why the eventual victims don’t even attempt to run away given this warning.
In other words, it’s fucking hilarious.
It all happens at the decrepit resort, Villa Estrella. I’ll spare everyone of the cast’s respective characterizations and background — they don’t matter anyway because their collective IQ is that of a mosquito’s. Trapped in the resort are Shaina Magdayao and Jake Cuenca, former lovers; Geoff Eigenmann, her present boyfriend; Empoy, Geoff’s friend; Ronnie Lazaro as caretaker; a lady staff and her daughter.
The pool is haunted by Maja Salvador, who claims her victims either by snatching them from the pool or pushing them into the pool. The movie established that the caretakers know the pool claims a victim every now and then. Of course, knowing this, no one should even go near the pool, but in this movie, everyone’s brainless so they all wander near it (and despite the bubble warning as mentioned in the first paragraph). Their IQ also explains why no one even bothered to drain the pool despite the fact that no one has swam there in years.
Maybe the previous victims actually died of dengue and not by supernatural means. Or maybe Maja was not just a
sea — correction, chlorinated water — monster but the queen of dengue. That would have made for a more interesting storyline.
As the monster of chlorine water, Maja has dreadlocks fashioned out of twigs. She is color green and spews out green bile, presumably algae.
She can also topple statues. In one scene, Shaina climbs a statue of a lady which overlooks the pool. The statue falls over and pins her down under the pool.
Of course, we’re mean so Mon and I laughed at Shaina when this happened.
You’d expect Pinoys to be screaming out of their wits on this one — I mean come on… it’s a swimming pool monster!!! Instead, in the half-full (I’m an optimist!) movie theater, there was only one lady who kept screaming at the shocker scenes; we imagine she’s the type of lady who screams at every mundane moments — such as when the traffic light goes green, then she goes “Aaaay!” And there were only two who were laughing at the otherwise serious moments — I and Mon.
At the end of the screening, the guy behind me couldn’t help express his frustration: Ang corny naman!
Ang corny nga. But at least we got a few laughs out of it, and it is way better than Sundo. (But that doesn’t say a lot, really.)
No need to waste your money on this. Just wait for it on Cinema One if you really like cheap thrills.