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By Heinrich Domingo

A college student seeks a low-cost room where she could stay through the semester. When the landlord cannot think of any other room that fits her budget, she was offered with a small space haunted by a ghost of a playful kid. Initially, both became friends but when she can no longer keep with the demands of the ghost kid, she was badly punished.

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Kalaro banks on the outstanding performance of child actress Reign Tolentino. The film was truly chilling. From the musical scoring to the visual effects employed, it was consistent in its technique to scare the crowd. Yet, viewers cannot help but think of what this short film might actually mean. There was no singular theme. The elements of poverty and mother-daughter relationship which were presented in the beginning were just left lying on the floor.

Cinema has brilliantly used ghosts and evil spirits to connote reeking characters. Recently, Guillermo del Toro gave us the Crimson Peak. But, Kalaro falls short in bringing depth to its story. Its chills went nowhere but for the viewers’ spectacle. Hence, despite its success in delivering entertainment to the crowd, it is still ineffective using the medium.

Directed by: Migo Matas
Asia Pacific Film Institute
Tatay, Rizal

2 stars

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