3 Days of Darkness (Tatlong Araw Ng kadiliman)
Directed by Khavn de la Cruz
Written by Alfred Aloysius Adlawan

Nothing quite bashed my young skull in like old school Catholic mindfuck did, all its silt like baby tarantulas in my head- - - the 3D Jesuses, the self-flagellating nutters, the stormtrooper nuns, the injured Jack Chick comics. But Revelation’s freaky grip was special, a trauma lesion. Endtime scenarios spooked the altarboy in me for the sticky claustrophobia it teased out of all that Lovecraftian cataclysm - - -the wrath of God singling me out, getting personal. It’s on you, sisters - - - all that religion’s wire in the blood now. False alarms from pulpits may have made anticlimax out of apocalypse and David Seltzer may have housebroken it into a cuddly subgenre, but these veins of dread run deep. Watching Michael Tolkin’s The Rapture after having thought myself long past its clutches fortified that. That young girl alone, eerily crooning Hark The Herald Angels Sing inside her jail cell as TVs everywhere blank into white noise and distant angelic trumpets blow, has doomed me to never hear that song in the same way again.

None of this gets as scripturally anal- - -or scriptural at all - - -nor is there anything here that can get under your skin as purely - - - what happens when Katya Santos confesses her troubles to a priest is another mode of fuck-you-up entirely- - - but it invokes the same colors of unease : gray and grim, mostly. Invokes Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger and Diamanda Galas and Blair Witch and Wait Until Dark and Rosemary's Baby, too.

Horror in a nutshell boils down to that moment when you’re backed into a tight corner you can't get out of and the bad shit starts having its way with you. This is that moment drawn out- - -ominous calm melting into a din of oppressive hysteria, teasing claustrophobia from cataclysm. The more fragile among you might wilt from the confusion the last half's near-utter sensory deprivation brings- - - more stressful than scary, which amounts to same, which is the point. It's really a siege but seen from what brokedown senses the besieged have left in all this night and all this fever and all this panic- - - and Oggs Cruz's theory that the three girls- - -Katya in her blond wig, half-Japanese Gwen Garci, ilustrado stock Precious Adona - - -are colonial detritus backs this up more than my theory that they're just three variants of ditz.

But there is a gleeful perversity in having these bimbos hole up in a country house to stave off a clusterfuck of demons and does count for most of its grotty glory- - -Samuel Z. Arkoff would've thought the world of it. They all could be hallucinating the invasion, of course, but it's far ballsier to think they aren't. And that the world is coming to an end and it isn't letting us off easy. * * *


david santos said...

Good posting, Dodo. thank you.

I wish you a good end of 2007 and a good year of 2008.

dodo dayao said...

Thank you, too, david. Happy New Year.