Rattling and rolling with Jerrold
Although he insists that he’s not a big fan of horror flicks, filmmaker Jerrold Tarog has been churning out one thriller after another: the “Punerarya” episode in last year’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll 12”; the recently shown “Aswang”; and now, the “Parola” chapter of “Shake, Rattle & Roll 13,” Regal’s entry in the coming Metro Manila Film Festival.
“I get easily bored with pure horror because I’m not really a superstitious person,” Tarog admits. “If anything, though, I prefer films where horror is just the starting point to something else, like the horror-drama of ‘Candyman,’ the horror-comedy of ‘Zombieland’ and the horror-action of ‘28 Days Later.’”
He quips that his ultimate dream is to direct an “anti-horror” film. He elaborates: “Something that’s more psychological and less superstitious. After ‘SRR 13,’ I intend to move on or take a long break from the genre. In the first place, horror is not what made me want to do films.”
Still, he says, it feels “awesome” to be part of ‘SRR 13’ because it is touted as the grand finale of the franchise and he gets to share the marquee with two other indie filmmakers—Richard Somes and Chris Martinez, who are directing the two other episodes.
“I have great respect for my fellow directors,” says Tarog. “I’m prepared to lie low in this installment and just watch Martinez and Somes do what they do best.”
The story of “Parola” piqued his interest, he relates. “Take away the horror element and the story is about how people are bound to each other, either through friendship or hate.”
“Parola” focuses on two childhood friends, played by ABS-CBN’s Kathryn Bernardo and GMA 7’s Louise de los Reyes, who are drawn to a mysterious lighthouse, like moths to a flame.
“Kathryn and Louise are two beautiful, talented young ladies,” Tarog says. He has “nothing but praise” for the teen stars. “The other cast members were very easy to work with, too. Everyone was open and willing to give their all, and they did. I was also happy to work again with Dimples Romana who was in the cast of ‘Senior Year’ (Tarog’s acclaimed indie drama).”
It was a challenging shoot, he recalls. “It was more of a logistical problem because we had to shoot in a real lighthouse and recreate the lantern room in a studio.”
Then De los Reyes met an accident while performing a stunt. “You can just imagine the stress and confusion,” the director recounts.
Tarog is raring to take a break from horror and is pitching several concepts—including an action flick and a love story—to producers. “Hopefully these projects will get the green light next year, especially my script for the last part of my ‘Camera’ trilogy.”
First part of the trilogy was “Confessional,” which won the top prize at the Cinema One Originals fest in 2007. The second installment was “Mangatyanan,” a Cinemalaya entry in 2009.
Regal has “expressed interest in an ‘Aswang’ sequel,” Tarog says. “I’m also looking forward to that, but only after I’ve rested from horror.”
The director, one of the honorees in last year’s Inquirer Indie Tribute, is keen on going back to his independent roots.
He confesses: “I’m thinking of doing some indie projects, just to get my bearings back. Working with mainstream studios is a great experience, but there’s something really special with the freedom one gets from doing indie films.”
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