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After Fest: What to expect from Cinemalaya’s “Kaluskos”

After Fest: What to expect from Cinemalaya’s “Kaluskos”

Kaluskos
Disclaimer: spoilers incoming!

The much-awaited homecoming of Cinemalaya to the theaters of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) truly did not disappoint! If you miss these films, good news is coming your way because the festival is extending the celebration by having virtual screenings from October 17-31!

Among the films which gathered viewers’ attention is the psychological domestic thriller Kaluskos. This Cinemalaya full-length film is directed by Roman Perez Jr. Kaluskos revolves around Rebekah’s (Coleen Garcia) fight for her daughter Amaya’s sole custody against her estranged husband, Jay (Karl Medina). During the custody battle, Rebekah finds another Amaya (Queenzy Calma) under the bed who says she’s hiding from the monster who is also her impostor.

Intrigued? Read on to know more on what to expect from Kaluskos if you are planning to stream it online.

Goosebump material

Armed with appropriate sound effects, Kaluskos has its own share of eerie jump scares. From using different audio and visual transition techniques, the filmmakers were able to deliver the scary element of the film without relying on the usual “ghosts and monsters” concept.

Photo | Cinemalaya
Photo | Cinemalaya

The cinematographers also made an excellent job with the visuals. The color grading, palette, and mood were consistent and coherent from the start until the end of the film. 

Coleen carried Kaluskos on her shoulders

Being a working mother herself, Coleen embodies Rebekah’s dilemma of wanting to be a woman with a career and a loving mother to Amaya as well.

Photo | Cinemalaya
Photo | Cinemalaya

From her glares, facial expressions, emotions, and non-verbal cues, it is safe to say that Coleen Garcia’s maturity improved her acting. 

Kudos for highlighting women’s struggles

Kaluskos also depicted the struggles of mothers going through divorce, especially if they are the ones who filed for it.

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Photo | Cinemalaya
Photo | Cinemalaya

The film captured how children’s relationship with their mothers become distant. Moreover, women stereotypes are portrayed when Rebekah’s own best friend did not believe her and even immediately jumped to a conclusion that she is going insane. Though technically, she was indeed insane, we can still argue that allegedly, it is all NOT just happening in her head. 

It leaves you wanting for more, but is that really a good thing?

Direk Perez’s decision to escape the usual manifestation of the horror element actually paid off, BUT (and that is a big one), it still left us wanting for more.

Photo | Cinemalaya
Photo | Cinemalaya

After watching the film, we have noticed that the pacing of the story is a bit inconsistent. There were times when the film was fast when it had to be slow, and vice versa. There were also some questions left unanswered, such as the reason why there is an Amaya doppelganger, who was the real Amaya, and whether it is all happening in Rebekah’s head or not. 

Overall, we can still consider Kaluskos as a breath of fresh air compared to other contents in our mainstream film industry. Its approach, concept, and visual treatment are reasons enough to celebrate the inevitable progress of our film industry. 

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