Summer is the season for easy dresses and road trips. When I can't get out of town and have nothing better to do, all I want is to watch a horror movie with a cute boy. But who am I kidding, how many cute boys do I know who are willing to watch horror movies with me in the middle of the day? I had to drag my friend Charlie, who is always willing to try anything once, to watch Sundo, the latest movie with Robin Padilla, erstwhile action star and anti-malaria advocate. (Here's another bit of trivia–did you know that his real name is Robinhood? I heart Wikipedia.) Armed with gourmet popcorn (half cheese, half caramel in a small bag), we sat in the air conditioned theater, trying to forget the brain melting heat outside.
In Sundo, Robin plays a burnt out military man who sees ghosts. He goes on a road trip from Baguio to Manila with six other people, including his blind sister Isabel (the gorgeous Rhian Ramos), and his childhood friend, the matronly Louella (played by Sunshine Dizon, who is looking more and more like Sharon Cuneta these days. Check out that bob.) Anyway, Robin and his companions have a near death experience on the road. Suddenly Robin is seeing espasol-style ghosts everywhere, ready to escort the living into the world of the dead. That's the scare. This movie's tagline is: "When Death is near, who will come to pick you up?" Will it be a dead friend or relative in lots of smeared eyeliner and white pancake makeup?
Director Toppel Lee is skilled at creating suspenseful, edge-of-your seat moments but Sundo isn't all that scary. Thankfully, Rhian Ramos is very easy to watch and Robin Padilla's hammy acting never fails to entertain me. If anything, J.A. Tadena's stunningly eerie cinematography creates an appropriately broody atmosphere, but it's all over for me when Robin shoots the ghost with a gun. I don't know, but doesn't that seem kind of futile? It seems just as futile as trying to get a cute boy to watch a scary movie with me. In other words, why bother?