Thoughts on Sunod (2019)

In my previous film review, I mentioned how I was surprised by the number of new shows and movies on Netflix. One of those new entries is Sunod (2019), a Filipino horror I wanted to watch during the Metro Manila Film Festival. But there are other shows I also wanted to watch so I created a list which I’m slowly getting through.

Finally, I was able to see…

Sunod (2019)

1h 40min | Horror
Director: Carlo Ledesma

It centres on a woman who’s desperate to find the cure to her daughter’s illness. She takes a job at a call centre, only to be haunted by the ghost in it.

When trailers for the 45th Metro Manila Film Festival was slowly being released, I saw some great ones and not so much. Then I noticed, there wasn’t a horror genre. MMFF always have at least one horror entry yearly. So, I thought maybe there really isn’t one this year. Suddenly, a trailer dropped on Facebook. I scrolled through the post the video played.

It was indeed MMFF horror entry. I was so impressed by the trailer and told myself I’ll watch it. Sadly, I failed to do so because MMFF happens during the Christmas season. I couldn’t juggle work, family gatherings, day out with friends and blogger events.

Thank goodness Netflix picked it up.

The Film & The Review

The film starts with a dream but some will say it’s a vision, a warning. I agree with the latter. The opening sequence was bleak, melancholy and the signs were all there. Indeed, something is going to happen with our protagonist who then wakes up in a hospital room where her daughter is confined.

Olivia played by Carmina Villaroel is a solo parent. She’s been making ends meet while taking care of her sick daughter, Anelle played by Krystal Brimner. But things aren’t going their way as Anelle has been confined for quite some time. As any solo parent and parent, in general, would do, Olivia finds a job. Though the job fair is exclusively for college students, she pursues it and ends up getting the job.

Now all throughout their journey, a bleak setting was presented. The atmosphere never broke but it gets darker and darker every time Olivia goes to work. She works as a call centre agent and her workplace is set in an old building with quite a history and filled with secrets.

As per Lance, the Team Leader played by JC Santos: “The Liboro House used to be a settlement for survivors back in World War II. The family’s patriarch, Doctor Jaime Liboro, bought the entire building and turned it into one of Manila’s best hospitals in the ’70s only to be reopened and remodelled into where we all are now.

Some housekeeping tips. LGO is currently the only office in the entire building. The second and third floors are all under renovations, so please be careful when walking around.”

Those secrets slowly come to light as Olivia helps a little girl, who she thought was lost, get out of the building. And this is where we first hear they use the title, sunod. The Filipino word sunod has different meanings but when Olivia used it, it simply means to follow her as she leads her out of the building.

Once she’s out, this is where all the craziness in Olivia’s life happens. Her daughter gets possesses by the little girl from the building which turns out to be Nerisa played by Rhed Bustamante. She and her mother Perla played by Susan Africa lived in the basement of the building when it was still a hospital.

Though the owner of the building already noticed how weird this girl is and her mother, his wife, a kind nurse showed them compassion and helped them in any way. Sadly, this mother and daughter tandem had terrifying plans for the wife. When they were caught by the husband, Dr Jaime Liboro played by Freddie Webb he strangled Nerissa out of anger ultimately killing her.

Now that night was set to happen again as Olivia mistakenly reunites Nerissa and her mother. With the thought of finding Nerissa’s body in the basement to help her move on, Olivia finds herself in the same position as Dr Liboro’s wife. Tied to a sacrificial table, Perla starts the ritual. The red thread or yarn, as well as the visions Olivia, keeps having turned into her reality.

Still from trailer

From what I understood, Olivia is the next or sunod. The next person or body that Perla will be taking. Now was she successful? I’m not going to tell you just like I didn’t share the whole film. 😊

But I am going to tell you that though the plot is familiar, I appreciate every scare and details they presented. It’s honestly simple but beautiful especially the part with the red thread or yarn. The actors are great, too. I think Carmina Villaroel played Olivia well most especially Krystal Brimner who played Anelle.

I think the only problem I have is I wanted a little more story concerning the ritual. What kind of people are these mother and daughter duo? Are Perla and Nerissa their original form? Or, did they also steal these people’s lives? Lastly, what exactly is this ritual and what were those dark figures?

I’m not hoping for part two. But if they will, I hope they will keep it simple, scary and break barriers like they did in this film. You see, when there is a backstory about a rich family in a horror film, they usually have something to do with everything. But not here. The Liboro family is innocent except for killing Anelle who tried to sacrifice and killed the Mrs. IMDb 8/10

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