Movie Reviews

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian CineFilipino Review: Bridging Folklore & Reality

CineFilipino Movie Review: Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian (Bridge of San Sebastian)

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian doesn’t have original scares, but this distinctly Filipino horror flick has something to say.

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian starts with a premise that’s interesting enough to make you watch and see how its characters will escape their fate. The movie excels when it toys around with its characters’ minds, who can’t help but fall into superstition. When you’re inside a van in the middle of the night on a bridge that doesn’t seem to end, imagination gets the best of you.

The two unfortunate souls who get trapped in this nightmare are played by Joem Bascon and Sandino Martin, whose exhaustion, despair, and desperation are convincing. The rest of the cast also did well.

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian has an interesting premise and a chilling first half but devolves into a silly flick along the way.

The movie losses its effect when it reveals the ghosts, ghouls, and monsters rendered in shoddy visual effects. The plot throws its two characters into different paths as they try to deal with the situation in their own way, only to reveal supernatural set-ups that don’t make sense.

The movie finishes with a contrived ending that doesn’t make any sense either.

In hindsight this is what the movie intends to do – throw you in a loop of hopelessness. Despite its limited budget, it’s brave enough to push the material – it mixes horrors from Philippine mythology and everyday Filipino life. In one scene, Francis and Bong witness a family get assaulted by hold-uppers who have killed everyone else on a bus they rode in.

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian does not offer anything new nor will it scare you to your core. But if you’re willing to forgive its B-movie special effects, it has an allegorical tale of Filipino society’s unending plight against violence and attachment to needless superstition.

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian (Bridge of San Sebastian)

6

Ang Tulay ng San Sebastian doesn't have original scares, but this distinctly Filipino horror flick has something to say. 

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