Finally, another Shake, Rattle & Roll movie! I look forward to these, and when truly terrible installments come out, like SRR XIV, I'm always afraid it's going to be the one to derail the franchise for good. So you can imagine how happy I was to not only sit through a new SRR film, but one that's light years better than its predecessor. Sure, the last segment was a clunker, but as anyone who knows anthologies will tell you, they can't all be winners. I've already seen it twice, and instead of writing a review, of which there are plenty, I thought it would be more fun to poke holes in the stories and point out all the head-scratching details. Major spoilers ahead, but only because if you haven't seen SRR XV yet, you should.
Alberto and his daughter Sandra have enjoyed success and wealth for years thanks to Allergia Mall, but at a price: In the bowels of the mall lives the family cash cow, and their luck's about to run out.
- Why did they let Sarah and Sandra spend all that time together as kids? Of course Sarah was going to be jealous: she literally has a window into what her life could be like if she wasn't born a reptilian monster. Wouldn't it be easier to raise them separately, so neither one grows up asking inconvenient questions?
- Why keep Sarah in such a shitty den? Wouldn't that make her more unsatisfied? Alberto built that mall from the ground up; there is no reason he couldn't make that room more livable. There are secret elevators outfitted in the movie theaters, dressing rooms, and bathrooms, but the hidden room was an afterthought in the blueprints? It makes the whole idea of a maintenance man cleaning up the gore seem ridiculous, because the place is already disgusting and crawling with rats to begin with.
- Why is there a family portrait of Sandra with their parents hanging in Sarah's room? Holy shit. Nobody thought that was a bad idea? Nobody thought it seemed cruel to taunt this little kid with photographic proof of not being part of this picture-perfect family?
- If Sandra was willing to leave everything behind to run away with Sarah and take care of her, why didn't she do so sooner? How could she leave to live in the US, knowing her twin was kept prisoner? Why would she take a job as Head of Administration at the very mall where her twin had been locked up in subhuman conditions all throughout their childhood? Even if she was told her sister had died, why would she want anything to do with that mall at all? Her father admitted to being greedy and her mother at least outright wanted to kill Sarah, but Sandra actually claimed to love her sister.
- In the decades Allegria Mall was in operation, no one in those long fitting room lines ever overheard the salesladies and was like, "Hey, I want to go to that exclusive fitting room, too! Hear that everybody? There's an extra fitting room they aren't telling us about!"?
- If Sandra was the recently-appointed Head of Administration, why is she worried about not liking Iggy's plans for the mall celebration? She's the boss. Why did she let Iggy go so far with the planning without checking everything beforehand? Gigantic golden monuments in malls are not built prior to management's approval.
- Why do people occasionally call Sandra "Sarah"? #getyourstorystraight
- If Sarah could burst out of the vents, why didn't she do that sooner? Why did she need to hitch a ride on the elevator to escape?
- Why would the janitor stick around after Sarah's escape? Instead of complaining to Alberto that his life was in danger, why didn't he just high-tail it out of there? He was already outdoors when he made the call.
- Why are some employees aware of the snake-woman in the basement, and others not? Do all the salesladies know about the secret dressing room? If the janitor hadn't called Alberto about Sarah escaping, does that mean no one would have found out there was a monster on the loose?
- Why did Sarah and Sandra's father have a roomful of guns (presumably for snake-monster fighting purposes) if he was only going to carry one tiny handgun to kill her with?
- Why was Troy the first person who ever witnessed a loved one gone missing and did anything about it? Did none of the customers and shoplifters who disappeared over the years ever have people with them in the mall who filed missing-person reports? No one ever said, "Hold up, my friend/relative went into that dressing room and never came out! What the hell's going on here?"
Henry uproots his wife Aimee and their young daughter Julie into his grandparents' old house, where they meet a warm welcome by the family housekeeper, Lina. But the house, and its caretaker, have their share of secrets.
- Why did Lina wait so long to get her revenge? She was literally living a stone's throw away from their house! She could've snuck in their house and put bad juju in their leftovers. She could've set her crazy deformed son loose on Cesar and Choleng in their old age, or even way earlier. Those two lived to a ripe old age and never had to answer to the shit they did--that's the most hilarious part of this whole story.
- Why the hell did Cesar and Choleng let Lina live in the gardener's house at all? They never saw how that could turn out badly? Or at least, how awkward garden strolls would be? Wouldn't Lina's presence be a constant reminder of Cesar's infidelity? Neither of them lay in bed and thought out loud, "Hey, whatever happened to that deformed kid we banished to our backyard? Remember that? Good times."
- If Choleng poisoned Lina, why didn't Lina die? And why didn't Choleng look even the slightest bit confused when Lina didn't die?
- Why didn't the midwife, or any of the other servants present during Lina's childbirth, freak the fuck out when they saw the baby? Wouldn't someone need to register the birth? Or at least, spread rumors of a deformed baby around town? You can't keep something like this under wraps. It's not like it was a low-key affair. There were witnesses! People talk!
- Why would Choleng let Lina carry the baby to term and give birth in her house if she hated her so much? Why not send her away before then, the moment Choleng found out she was having an affair with her husband?
- If Lina lived in the gardener's house, wouldn't the gardener notice that there was a monster with a taste for blood growing up under the same roof? Was he cool with that?
- How could Lina get away with putting weird shit in the food, when she keeps the ingredients just lying around in the kitchen? Neither Henry nor Aimee ever bothered to open the freezer or any of the cupboards? They were right there! Lina doesn't even try to hide them.
- Henry dreams about a voice threatening to take his daughter away, but what would Lina want Julie for? To feed to her son? To hurt her, the way her son was hurt? It seemed kind of a nowhere threat that didn't tie into anything.
- Why did Julie call out for Lina and run into her arms, when she already knew Lina put weird voodoo in her lunch earlier that day? Why didn't she tell her mother about the rats in her lunch? Or her father, while they were alone in the hospital? Julie knew there was something going on, and she seems smart, so why wouldn't she attempt to at least warn her parents?
- Why did the school principal tell Aimee about the bully who tormented Julie, but fail to mention how that bully later upchucked rats? Didn't that strike anyone at the school suspicious? Woudn't her other classmates, who saw the whole thing, point it out? Like, "There goes the kid with the rats in her lunch! Steal her lunch money, not her actual lunch!"
A hijacker's plans to take hostages on a red-eye flight to Zamboanga meets more than turbulence when the trip is disrupted by a surprise supernatural passenger.
- What was Jane doing in the middle of the forest in the dead of night with a cellphone? Was she calling her boyfriend? Were they going to meet there? Was reception better out in the ass-end of the woods?
- Why didn't Iggy know smoking isn't allowed on a plane? Everyone knows that. They even make you watch annoying videos about it onboard.
- How did Kuya Kim figure out that the Tiyanak only changes into a monster when the moon is unobscured? None of them was looking out the window at that time. And the Tiyanak was in another room when they heard it transform back into a baby; they only heard its cries through the telephone.
- Why would Carlos go through all the trouble of hijacking a plane if he was only going to ask for a measly P10 million in ransom? Doesn't seem worth it. #lowballin'
- How did Carlos get that gun or the bomb through the metal detectors? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think flight attendants have control over that kind of thing.
- If Carlos was a former airport employee, wouldn't he know that shooting a gun inside a plane might depressurize it? He might not have planned on actually firing it, but he still seemed unconcernedly trigger-happy with that thing.
- Why didn't Carlos check the bathrooms for any passengers before hijacking the plane? He never saw Die Hard 2? Passenger 57? Or the more recent Non-Stop? This is truly amateur hour.
- Why were Dave and Karen walking away and laughing at the end? Didn't Karen's friend just die? Didn't the pregnant woman Dave was attending to just die? Didn't a whole bunch of other people just die? This is not how people would realistically react after surviving a bomb on a plane, let alone a Tiyanak on a plane.