Hello, Pipol! Hold on to your seats because we’re back with another list of Filipino movies to add to your watchlist. We’re all too familiar with that insatiable longing for an escape from life’s unrelenting demands. And what better way to satiate our craving for a fleeting breather than by pampering in the intoxicating world of cinema? Yet, finding the time to dedicate to such an immersive experience has become a rare luxury. We feel you, especially in the midst of this fast-paced, ever-changing world.
Fear not, fellow Pinoy cinephiles! Within the vibrant realm of Filipino cinema, we have curated a special selection catered to those with limited time. We have handpicked five Filipino movies for you, each with a runtime of under 90 minutes. So, get ready to set the stage for a brief but sweet movie night, as we dive right into it!
Filipino movies that are under 90 minutes for those with short attention spans!
Amok (2011) – 73 minutes
Let’s kick off this list with an unhinged gem. Clocking in at a brisk 73 minutes, Amok weaves a tapestry of captivating stories that only grow more intriguing as the minutes tick by. To truly experience the full impact, we recommend diving into it without reading any synopsis – let it catch you off-guard. What we can reveal for now is that it comprises various tales set in Pasay, which eventually converge into a chaotic feast of blood, sweat, and tears.
Need more? Well, brace yourself for a 4-minute rap introduction that sets the gritty mood of the film. Pretty cool, huh? But you know what’s even cooler? The fact that they managed to capture this frenzy amidst heavy traffic and swarms of people. You know what? Give it a shot, and you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about.
Ma (2018) – 72 minutes
Get ready for the next mind-bending addition to this list. Ma is a must-watch slow-burning folk horror for fans of The VVitch and The Ritual. The narrative centers around Samuel, as he grapples with the devastating loss of his mother. Overwhelmed by emotions, he ventures into a mysterious cave, rumored to possess wish-granting powers, and desperately asks for his mother’s life to be restored.
In just 72 minutes, Ma delivers not one, but two eerie, interconnected stories. Along the way, it grips us in a compelling blend of mythology and horror. With its exquisite design, it creates a creepy ambiance that lounges and evokes tension to topple the typical use of cheap jump scares. All in all, this hidden Filipino movie deserves your easy-to-sway, attention span.
Ruined Heart: Another Love Story Between a Criminal & a Whore (2014) – 73 minutes
If we’re talking about pure craziness, how about immersing yourself in the demented world of Khavn? And what better complement to this wild Pinoy director than the one and only Tadanobu Asano? Need we say more? That’s all you need to know to dive headfirst into this instant cinematic madness! The story revolves around a henchman entangled with his crime boss’ woman. As their forbidden love blossoms, they make the daring decision to escape their troubles.
In a span of 73 minutes, you’ll be treated to a sensory overload of music, crime, a love story, a rock and roll opening sequence, and Asano getting the local fiesta treatment. This jam-packed film feels like a fever dream unfurling inside the underbelly of Manila’s underground realm. To add to the allure, Christopher Doyle, the beloved cinematographer of Wong Kar-wai, works his magic here, leaving you with no valid excuse to miss out on this unforgettable spectacle.
Matangtubig (2015) – 88 minutes
Let’s move on to a challenging one. Matangtubig follows a town as they scramble to find the culprit of a young girl’s murder while searching for her missing friend. The media breathes down their necks, and the townspeople are aghast over the events that have disturbed their peace. As ominous and reticent as the town is, the film becomes a modest, scattered puzzle for viewers to solve along the way.
This film openly challenges anyone who wants to try something laidback yet full of layers. It also doesn’t shy away from political and social discourses. Moreover, it hints at local supernatural beliefs. It’s better to watch it when you’re not too occupied so you can fully appreciate the subtle display of gravity packed into an 88-minute runtime.
An Investigation on the Night That Won’t Forget (2012) – 70 minutes
Pagsiyasat sa Gabing Ayaw Lumimot | Mubi | Photo
For a final challenge, take a look at one of Lav Diaz’s shortest films: An Investigation on the Night That Won’t Forget. The film tells the story of Erwin Romulo, the best friend of the late Alexis Tioseco, as he recalls the events following the critic and his girlfriend’s untimely death in their Quezon City home. The challenge lies in following the story with Diaz’s uninterrupted long take.
Despite its short 70-minute runtime, the film demands the viewer’s complete attention to fully grasp its purpose. Condensing myriad memories into a spontaneous release of emotions is a notable feat. Although some might argue that this technique saps the film, it’s important to remember that cinema’s essence lies in our collective experience as social beings, which we share through conversations and discussions.
Looking for more Filipino movies? Check this out!
Dominic indulges in whatever piques his interest and consumes his time, only to forget about it when he discovers something more intriguing than the last. He is currently rediscovering Taylor Swift after having stopped listening when Reputation came out, and he might binge-watch alien documentaries sometime this week. Nevertheless, writing is the one constant thing that wouldn't slip his mind for sure. Randomly unearthing good films is his fourth favorite thing in life. His third, second, and first are ABBA, suspending disbelief, and the love of his life, respectively.