How come people who go there are never seen again? Does the villa "eat" people alive? The movie tells the story of Ana who has always been having nightmares about certain people getting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ana
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Andrea
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Alex
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Dennis
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Eddie
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Dave
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Gusting
Rubi Rubi ...
Suzy
Celine Lim ...
Jennifer
Noemi Oineza ...
Danica
Liza Lorena ...
Madame Reza
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Ana's Mother
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Otap
Eda Nolan ...
Giselle
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Angelo
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Storyline

How come people who go there are never seen again? Does the villa "eat" people alive? The movie tells the story of Ana who has always been having nightmares about certain people getting killed of Madre Na Aswang. Things become scarier when her ex-boyfriend brings her to Villa Estrella where she meets a girl named Gisele who seems to be very familiar to her. Written by Anonymous

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1 July 2009 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Estrella  »

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The film won Special Jury Mention at the Montevideo Fantastico 6, Uruguay in October, 2011. See more »

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Last one in the pool is a rotten egg
1 July 2009 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

"Villa Estrella" easily turns to be Star Cinema's strongest output this year so far although what could have been a horror magnum opus is kept simmering dangerously close to a middling cheap shock-peppered murder mystery, where director Rico Ilarde's proficiency in generating suspense is, with egregious interruptions, diffused by its frustrating obligation to follow conventions. As with most local spookies churned by the big players, it's a slick production that regularly trades on atmosphere and a more suggestive style of narrative for the requisite gotcha moments, yet not quite fervent in doling out more intense scenes for its characters (played by actors who look too young for their parts), so as not to alienate its leads' younger fans who apparently are the driving force behind the project's financial success. Apparently, anything more than a PG-13 is detrimental.

Dragged against her wishes away from the city, Anna (Shaina Magdayao) soon starts having dreams of a drowning girl while her ex-boyfriend Alex (Jake Cuenca), hoping to patch things up between them, keeps her stranded in the titular resort that, once managed by their respective dads, has seen better days. Yet all is not well amongst the folks who have made a home around the villa's murky pool: a man acts strangely crazed, a young girl claims to have a friend who may or may not exist, and someone -- something! -- is dragging unsuspecting victims into the pool.

Ilarde's mindful use of space and sound evocatively imbues a constant sense of both warmth and dread -- as typified by the cinematography's assertion to juxtapose the complementary colors of blue and orange -- with its actors carefully framed to reinforce sympathy, as opposed to its masterful spatial editing that augments tension. These technical triumphs, unfortunately, are almost sabotaged by a few hiccups such as a laboriously prolonged scramble to the climax and a twist that, while ultimately satisfying, doesn't require a 20/20 vision to be seen from afar. Still, when the best thing going for it isn't Maja Salvador in a wet nightie, that's got to be something.


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