Sunday, February 1, 2009



One of my most favorite films is Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING. Sam lent it to me when we were in 4th year college.

By far, it’s the best horror film I’ve seen.

The film is about a family – Jack (Jack Nicholson), his wife and son Danny, who stays at an isolated hotel to become winter caretakers. Gradually, the story reveals Danny has psychic powers and sees ghosts, who were former guests in the hotel. Jack, a close-minded asshole, insists on staying for the money. Eventually, vulnerable Jack loses his mind.

There are two unforgettable shots/scenes. The first one was when Danny was playing around the hotel, riding his three-wheeled bike, with the basket in front and all. Consisted of mostly long shots, with the bike on the foreground and the hotel hallway at the back. Momentarily, shot shifts to perspective of the boy. The long take goes on and on and on. The hallway stretched wide ahead. Until a little girl, with blood on her face appears at the end of the hallway. The wheels screeched into a halt.

The second one’s when Jack was mad as hell and trying to break in her wife’s room to kill her. The shot was very very high angle/worm’s eye view, shooting Jack as he knocks furiously on the door. It was a risky, but very effective shot. You could feel Jack’s insanity pulsing from the skewed angle.

The hotel is cold, dreary and very scary.

One thing I love about it is its subtlety—it starts out quiet, taking its time. Making the viewer a screaming, squirming guest in the hotel—whether you like it or not!

1408 (2007)

When I watched 1408’s trailer last year, I was blown away. It was, after all, another Stephen King adaptation. Plus the story was very interesting.

It’s about the cynical Mike Enslin who writes books evaluating supernatural phenomena in hotels, graveyards and other haunted places, usually debunking the mystery. He came across an urban legend about room 1408 in Dauphin Hotel, a room rumored to be evil and have killed more than 50 guests. He checks himself in and sets out to unlock and mock the mystery behind it. But deep into the night, Mike discovers he can never check out alive.

The movie turned out more than I expected. Set in a single hotel room, the story succeeded in throwing one scare after another, making viewers jump in their seats. Who knew digital clocks, chairs, tables and windows can give you the ultimate chills?

One of my favorite scenes was when Mike looked at the window and saw a version of himself in a parallel window.

BIRTH-DATE @ Discovery Suites (2009)

Sadly, I have no horror story to tell. Hehehe.

We didn’t go to a hotel in busy Ortigas to make money or to debunk mysteries.

We did it to celebrate Sam’s birthday.

With a complimentary massage and a buffet breakfast, the 4800 bucks was a winner. Not to mention a beautiful room, a bath tub, the amenities (yeah, I got all the lotions, soaps, bath salts, slippers, the works!). The staff was very accommodating and friendly. There were also complimentary fruits and water. I thought may bayad nga, but a staff assured me they were free!

The location was perfect, near megamall and podium so it was hassle-free when we ate out (of course we weren’t going to eat inside,,,mahal eh!)

Word of warning, though, for those planning to check in a hotel soon and are first timers like we were, besides paying the full amount before you check in, you will also be required to pay a ”guarantee” worth half of what you’re paying. But they’ll give it back once you check out. My advice, just have extra money or a credit card handy.

Sam and I had such a grand time. Definitely, we’ll be back.

But for the meantime, I’m praying a hotel GC will appear from the heavens and land on my feet. Or maybe I’ll win a raffle in one of our shoots or events. Hehehe!

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