THE FRIDGE (Philippines, 2012)
North American Premiere
90 minutes, DCP, in Tagalog with English subtitles
Directed by: Rico Maria Ilarde
Starring: Andi Eigenmann, JM de Guzman, Joel Torre
You will see terror…by the light of your refrigerator! Never before has a haunted appliance had this many tentacles and craved this much human blood. Tina is a nice girl coming back to the Philippines after her parents sent her to live in the USA before they die under mysterious circumstances. She moves back into their house but it’s not long before she becomes aware that their fridge does more than keep milk cold and vegetables crisp…it also eats people.
A successor to the iconic horror short Pridyider that launched the Filipino horror anthology series Shake, Rattle & Roll back in 1984, director Rico Maria Ilarde’s cold-hearted flick is a gothic genre blast. Ilarde is a fan of horror movies, both the cheesy Filipino films of yesteryear and Western classics like Psycho and Don’t Look Now, and here he cracks the tupperware of terror to offer some juicy leftovers. A longtime director of independent horror movies who has flown just below the radar on the international scene, trying to inject the creaky conventions of the Philippines with new wave horror juice, this is the most successful of his movies.The house that Tina returns to is a shadowy mansion that looks like Peter Cushing’s vacation home, and it’s not long before she’s being menaced by a gallery of genre grotesques from an insane old man who charges in and yells that she must leave (right before she maces him in the face) to the sexy next door neighbor who sits down for a cup of tea and blithely informs her that her mother was a psychopathic murderer who killed and ate women she suspected of trying to sleep with her dad.
As Tina’s friends and relatives warn her against returning to the Philippines and beg her to come home, she continues trying to discover her “roots.” Instead she discovers a large appliance that drags its victims to hell with its Lovecraftian tentacles. Part send-up of horror movies, but even more of a celebration of their conventions, THE REFRIGERATOR is a gleeful, gory, sexy film that chills your blood and your beer. It’s not long before a shaman has come in to conduct an exorcism (that ends in a tsunami-sized high pressure blood spray), then a priest, and finally they have to find a refrigerator hunter. Hitting all the right notes and delivering a movie that is one part campy and two parts good old fashioned fun, horror has an Energy Star rating.