Pwera Usog: A Filipino Horror Film Inspired by a Superstition
Pwera Usog is a 2017 Filipino horror film directed by Jason Paul Laxamana and produced by Regal Entertainment. It tells the story of a group of pranksters who scare a homeless girl and accidentally injure her to death. One by one, they start encountering a shadow whose glare causes them to fall severely ill and die.
The film’s title comes from a Filipino superstition that believes that some people can inflict harm or misfortune on others by greeting them or complimenting them. The phrase “pwera usog” (from the Spanish “fuera” and the Filipino “usog”) means “go away, curse” or “except for the curse”. It is usually said after a compliment or a greeting to ward off any potential harm from the person who said it.
The film explores the concept of usog in a modern setting, where technology and social media are prevalent. The director, Laxamana, said that he wanted to introduce the superstition to the urban millennial audience and make them aware of their own culture and beliefs. He also said that he deviated from the typical Asian horror style and added more action and disgusting scenes to surprise and entertain the viewers.
Pwera Usog stars Joseph Marco, Sofia Andres, Kiko Estrada, Albie CasiÃ±o, Devon Seron, Aiko Melendez, and Eula Valdez. It was released on March 8, 2017 and received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. It was nominated for five awards at the 2017 FAMAS Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.
One of the main themes of Pwera Usog is the contrast between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the rural and the urban. The film shows how the superstition of usog is still alive and relevant in the contemporary Philippines, where people are exposed to various influences and cultures. The film also questions the morality and ethics of the pranksters, who use their gadgets and social media to humiliate and hurt others for fun and fame. The film suggests that there is a price to pay for their actions, and that they cannot escape the consequences of their deeds.
Another theme of Pwera Usog is the power of words and glances, and how they can affect people’s lives. The film illustrates how a simple greeting or compliment can trigger a curse that can cause sickness or death. The film also depicts how a shadowy figure can inflict harm with just a stare, and how the victims can only be cured by a ritual involving saliva and oil. The film implies that there is a supernatural force behind these phenomena, and that it is connected to the homeless girl who was killed by the pranksters.
Pwera Usog is a film that aims to scare and entertain its viewers, while also educating them about a Filipino superstition that has been passed down for generations. The film is a blend of horror, comedy, drama, and action, with elements of mystery and suspense. The film is a reflection of the Filipino culture and society, where old beliefs and practices coexist with new technologies and trends. The film is a reminder of the importance of respecting others and being careful with what we say and do.