Bliss Movie Review

Jerrold Tarog delves into the bad side of dreams in his latest psycho-thriller…


Along with the likes of Ian Veneracion and TJ Trinidad, Iza Calsado stars in Bliss, a psycho-thriller movie where everything seems uncertain.

Actress Jane Ciego (Calsado) stars as Abigail in her latest movie, Bliss. Due to a freak accident on set, she is left bedridden in a faraway house. Despite the attempts of her husband Carlo (TJ Trinidad) to calm her down, Jane becomes suspicious of her true condition in the house. Her creepy nurse Lilibeth (Adrienne Vergara) only increases her anxiety even more. As the movie progresses, twists, turns, and reveals only questioned the predicament she is in. Is everything real? Is it all a bad dream? Or is it something far worse?

The number one positive of the movie is its music. Thanks to director Tarog’s musical background, the music of the movie achieves in inserting suspense to the viewers’ minds. Once the music hits, you expect nasty things to come up.

Iza Calsado’s portrayal of Jane/Abigail is amazing. It is entertaining to watch her slow descent to madness.

But here we go…

The biggest issues I had with the movie are its slow pacing and poor storytelling.

This is a slowburn movie. And with slowburn movies, you got to have a big payoff. Examples of good slowburn movies are UnbreakableSplit, and Predestination. The pacing of these films are slow, but the rewards at the end make it all worth it…just like courting the love of your life. In Bliss, the so-called “payoff’ at the end weighs almost nothing due to the poor storytelling of the movie.


Even the best horror, psychological, or thriller films use the first minutes of its duration to set up the world of the story. Sometimes, the first act will take up a third of the story. This lets the viewers have a sense of the average life of the characters. So…when the suspense hits the fan (or in this case, the question of whether everything’s real or not), the viewers would be as scared/anxious/confused as the characters. But the viewers will never be scared/anxious/confused in this movie, because the movie constantly reminds you that it is all in Jane’s head! From Carlo’s scenes in the hospital to director Lexter Palao’s (Audie Gemora) interview with the Reporter (Michael de Mesa), nothing is a secret; nothing is a mystery… That Lexter interview alone is enough to spoon-feed the audience to obesity.

Also, some unnecessary scenes should have been deleted! Obiously, the Lexter interview has got to go! Also, the sub-plot between Carlo and Jane’s assistant (Stephanie Sol) only wasted my time. A lot of scenes/minutes were invested in this sub-plot, but no payoff at all!

Lastly (and a bit nitpicky) is how TJ Trinidad suddenly shifts to English in his dialogue. Good scenes/line deliveries ended anticlimactically due to the sudden shift in language. Maybe it is his way of saying it?

Watching the trailer of Bliss gave me a lot of hope and expectations, but it was all taken away. Even with good actors, the movie extremely suffered from its poor storytelling. Without a doubt, this is…


Split Film Review



It is official… Director M. Night Shyamalan has found his redemption in the form of Split. Two years ago, his film, The Visit, gave us a hint that he is returning to form, but there was something missing. He finally got his mojo back and delivered us this gem.

Kevin (James McAvoy) kidnaps three teenagers, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (Jessica Sula). All hope to persuade Kevin dissolves when the three teenagers discover that he suffers from dissociative identity disorder. In his case, he possesses 23 unique personalities. A 24th one, known as The Beast, will soon emerge and plans to devour them. Meanwhile, Kevin regularly visits his psychiatrist (Betty Buckley) to assure her nothing is wrong.

The trinity of this film, McAvoy, Taylor-Joy, and Buckley, delivered very well. Buckley’s character reminds me a lot of Dr. Sam Loomis of the Halloween franchise. They’re both well-known psychiatrist trying to guide and find cure to their respective patients. Taylor-Joy’s performance shows such frailty and control at the same time. And McAvoy is simply phenomenal in this film. Those little gestures and body movements make all personalities truly seem like different people. When he is “Hedwig”, he is really a child who never kissed a girl before. When he is “Dennis”, he is really a controlling person with OCD.

The film manages to give this sense of claustrophobia and dread. You will feel like you are one of the captives. The music provided by West Dylan Thordson captures the sense of helplessness and fear the teenagers feel during the duration of their capture.


AND THE ENDING! That ending blew my mind! It opens endless possibilities to the world of Shyamalan movies. The beauty of it is that Shyamalan knows that the general public is looking for a plot twist. The film does not have one! Yeah, sure there is one big impending doom that is The Beast, but it was given in the trailers already. The ending simply takes everything into a new plane of narrative.

However, that ending might only be understood by people familiar with Shyamalan’s early work. In fact, I was the only one who marked out when the ending was revealed.

Split is one of the best Shyamalan films and definitely the best in his line of work for the past ten years. With its chilling music, claustrophobic environment and cinematography, amazing and engaging performances from McAvoy and Taylor-Joy, and an ending no one expected at all, this film is definitely…