Boo! Ria Limjap reviews Richard Gutierrez's Patient X blogger Ria Limjap is in search of a good scare--did she find it in Patient X?

It's Halloween again. Do you have plans? If you're a loser like me (that is, staying in town), and you have nothing better to do this weekend, why not scare yourself and shock your system with cheap tricks and sugary treats. Watch Patient X with a tub of Chef Tony's parmesan popcorn. Honestly, it's not a bad option. The popcorn is perfectly crisp and just the right amount of cheesy, kind of like Patient X.

Yam Laranas directs Richard Gutierrez as young doctor Lukas Esguerra whose family was eaten to death by aswangs. Don't expect too much in terms of plot, because aswang movies are always riddled with mysterious story loopholes–especially when filmmakers do their own take on it. In this case, the aswangs got the Hollywood makeover treatment: no horrific winged female creatures are they, instead thug-like monsters with fangs and white faces. Their leader Markus (played by Elvis Gutierrez who did an awesome job I think) has a missing wife named Guada (Cristine Reyes), who has escaped the aswang lair and lifestyle. When the police catch Guada, they throw her into the basement of a small hospital and try to kill her but find that she won't die. And of course Markus wants Guada back. Aswangs have feelings, too, I guess. So imagine the showdown: empty hospital, lots of rain, angry aswangs outside. It's a no-brainer di ba.

As always, Yam Laranas does a nice job in terms of technical polish. He also did the cinematography so everything looks pretty slick. He's good with visual trickery, which comes in handy for horror. Alas, the story just wasn't scary. Although there are lots of gulat moments in Patient X, it takes no psychological grip on our collective fears. It won't give you nightmares–which is not necessarily a bad thing.


And who cares if Richard is a bit of a hammy actor. So he only has one expression for sad, scared, angry, and shocked, his version of Zoolander's "Blue Steel" signature look. Richard is a hard working young actor whose years of costume-wearing television soap operas and lame romantic comedies are paying off. He has a huge fan base and his own production company. High profile and controversial just like the rest of his clan, could Richard Gutierrez perhaps be someone with enough savvy to become a major player in the industry?

Anyway. Happy Halloween.

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