lights out

We all have awful friends. If you don't have an awful friend, ikaw ang awful friend. Ako alam ko, that's ME, kaya ako naa-unfriend in real life. OK lang yan, dahil minsan, some friendships need to be terminated immediately. Which is why I don't get this horror movie, Lights Out, which, after all the shocks and scares, is basically about a girl and her awful friend who's just a bit too clingy.

Lights Out is a movie which exploits our deepest, most basic fears: fear of the dark. So that means this movie doesn't have to try hard. Kailangan lang nilang patay-patayin ang ilaw.

Sidebar: nanood ako nito sa SM North. Napansin ko, sa bandang harap, may mga La-Z-boy, kaya doon ako pumwesto. Huli na nang marealize ko na walang ibang tao doon, nandun lahat sa likod. Puta biglang scary ang paligid. Aalis na sana ako para lumipat rin sa likod kaso biglang pinatay na ang mga ilaw. Hindi na ako nakaalis sa takot. Nagsisi talaga ako.

Spoilers ahead.

Wala pang 2 seconds pagkasimula ng pelikula nag-umpisa na ang pagpatay-patay ng ilaw sa office ng isang lalaki. May misteryosong anino sa hallway na bigla-biglang nanghahabol. Alam nating mamamatay si Kuya kasi sya ang unang hinabol. Di ba kapag nagsimula ang horror movie, yung unang character mamamatay?

Aside from being dead in the next few minutes, he also happens to be one of those people who had a bad case of "lights are flickering, there's a dark spot over there, better call out, HELLO?!?". I don't know where people get this logic. Kung ako ang pinatayan ng ilaw, GOODBYE PUNTA AKO SM NORTH.

Image from mensxp.com

May scary silhouette na "lumilitaw" kapag patay ang ilaw, at kapag, yun nga, in-investigate mo pa, mawawala sya pagsindi mo ng ilaw. So instead of getting the hell out of there, the guy investigates and promptly dies a painful, yet very AH OKEY death. You brought it upon yourself, Kuya. Kung ako may makitang scary silhouette sa bahay, wala nang investigate-investigate, LILIPAT AKO SA PROBINSIYA.

Ang lalaking namatay ay may asawa't anak. Kawawa naman yung anak, si Martin. Yung Tatay nya kasi ang matino nyang parent, yun pa ang namatay. Yung Nanay nya, legit mental hospital crazy. Gusto ng Nanay nya, madilim ang buong paligid, walang maingay, walang tanong-tanong. Hindi umiinom ng medication, check. Erratic behavior, check. May ka-chikahan sa dilim, check.

Nabalitaan ko na nung shinooting ang pelikulang ito, nanghiram sila ng lighting equipment sa Conjuring 2. Kasi ganun rin kadilim.

Nawindang si Martin nung nakita nya yung scary silhouette na nanghahabol kahit hindi naman inaano. Kapag nagsusumbong naman sya sa Nanay nya, ang sabi lang nang Nanay nya ay AH OKEY. Isa lang ang matatakbuhan nya, yung Ate nya.

Image from indianexpress.com

Rebecca, played by a healthier and happier version of Kristen Stewart (Teresa Palmer), moved out of their house the earliest chance she got years ago sapagkat yun nga, nagsasalita mag-isa ang Nanay nila. Dahil sa trauma at insomnia na dinadanas ng kapatid nyang si Martin, kinonfront nya yung Nanay nya to talk some sense into her, like Inay aware ka ba na may gustong pumatay sa amin we need some assitance please look into this? Hindi very helpful yung Nanay so nagdesisyon si Rebecca to take matters into her own hands.

It didn't take long for the evil silhouette na magmanifest muli and this time, hindi na lang sya nagpapakita sa kanila, nananakit na talaga siya. Not very friendly in my opinion, for someone na nakikitira lang sa bahay ng iba.

So far ang kanyang mga kakayahan ay:

1. Ang ability na patay-patayin ang ilaw, pero hindi lahat, selected ilaw lang, yung nakakabit sa kuryente. Kapag de-battery, hindi nya kaya. Ewan basta yun ang rules nya.

2. Kaya nyang mag-lock ng doors. Pero hindi rin lahat. Yung mga napili nya lang i-lock. At eventually nabubuksan rin. Sana mas may pakinabang siya kung kaya nya rin magpatay-sindi ng faucet.

3. Bigla bigla rin syang nanghahablot or nanunulak like what's your fucking problem? How annoying.

4. And lastly, meron syang mahahabang claws. No explanation, just claws. Yung nakaka-impeksyon. Ginagamit nya ito para mag-vandal ng sahig (ini-scratch nya yung name nya, DIANA) at sugatan ang mga tao. I wish I had this ability sa office, may mga gusto akong sugatan sa gums.

Although Rebecca is the most sensible character (compared sa Nanay nya at kay Diana, yeah wala masyadong competition), meron naman siyang very bad case of "someone's attacking us, better split up" na hindi ko rin gets ang logic. Hindi ba sa horror movies, mas mamamatay ka kung mag-isa ka? Well anyway.

Around mga 30 minutes into this movie, nasolve na ang mystery dahil sa... guess what? Pakalat-kalat na telltale medical records and pictures sa desk. All Rebecca needed to do was read and say, AH OKEY, kaya pala may nagmumulto sa amin, naka-explain pala lahat dito, thanks telltale documents and pictures!

Apparently, nagkakilala ang Nanay nya at si Diana sa isang mental hospital at naging magkaibigan sila. Pareho silang patient, pero si Diana ang mas malala. Ang sakit daw nya ay hypersensitivity sa light, pero parang sensitive rin sya sa tubig, sabon at hilod.

Pinag-experimentuhan ng mga doctor si Diana and yun she promptly dies, just to get the party started. From then on dumikit na ang kaluluwa nya sa nag-iisa nyang friend at hindi na sya nakamove on. But why all this hostility Diana? Pwede naman kayong friends, pero hindi mo susugatan yung ibang friends nya is that too much to ask? Your interpersonal skills are questionable here.

So matapos ma-figure out ni Rebecca ang dahilan kung bakit sila pinapatay ni Diana, nag-resume uli ang violence. Habang nagkakahabulan, patayan ng ilaw, hablutan, kalmutan, sigawan, may nakatawag naman sa pulis. Eh di ba sa horror movies, yung first respondents na pulis, mapapatay rin ng ghost! This is how the ghost says, Take me seriously! I'll kill everyone not just this boring family!

Grabe ang violence ng ghost hindi sya mapigilan. How do you expect to live in harmony and camaraderie kung yung isang kasama nyo sa bahay eh papatayan ka ng ilaw tapos itutulak ka sa hagdan? Diana is not an ideal housemate and I'm concerned for the well-being of the other occupants in the house.

But before Diana could learn the error in her ways, nag-decide na yung Nanay na Tama na, enough na ang kakupalan mo Diana. Kung di kita ma-unfriend, magdedeactivate na ako ng account! BANG. And she promptly shoots herself in the head. Tapos ang party.

Sana kanina pa di ba? Anyway.

Tsk tsk Diana. Napundi na lang lahat ng bumbilya sa bahay kakapatay mo. Wala ka namang kwentang housemate.

Alam natin na tapos na ang movie kasi di ba sa horror movies pag patapos na, meron nang ambulance at nakaupo sa likod ng van yung mga bida (with matching blanket around the shoulders)? And so with their parents dead, susubukang mamuhay nina Martin, Rebecca at ang boyfriend ni Rebecca (ah yeah nalimutan kong banggitin may isa pa palang character pero kebs lang dahil isa lang syang AH OKEY character).

My simple rule in life is this: I don't make friends with people creepier than me. Eh yung Nanay parang walang sense of creepy and not creepy. Yung kinaibigan pa talaga eh yung mukhang naglalakad na voodoo doll. Although personally I've met these kinds of people na rin naman, like yung visually marumi and generally mabaho, and some of them eventually become good friends of mine (love you guys). Pero yung nangangalmot? Wrong. Unfriend na kapag ganyan.

My takeaways from this movie:

Try not to drive your friends to kill themselves.
Same thing I said to the Conjuring 2 family:  invest in good quality light bulbs.

Verdict:

Rating: 5 out of 5 lightbulbs, pero walang kuryente. Go figure.

Naku wag nyo nang i-torrent ito... ABA SHEMPRE NAMAN MASAMA ANG MAGTORRENT ILLEGAL KAYA YUN! *Wink*

There goes my take on Lights Out, aka Clingy Lesbian.

soundalikes

You ever notice how two very unrelated songs sound alike? I'm not referring to songs that "sample" other songs (like "Stronger" by Kanye West sampling "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Daft Punk) because that's the purpose of sampling. I'm referring to that moment when you hear a song and it reminds you of some other song, it's almost like you can interchange their parts and it still sounds OK.

Similar sounding songs are the reason mashups exist, which give comedians like Ate Gay a career. It takes skill to really come up with good mashups, and sometimes all it takes is coincidence and a good memory.

So I'll try to list down some songs which I notice sound a like a lot, but I'll be excluding cases like "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice and Queen's "Under Pressure" because there are existing legal complaints pertaining to plagiarism. I'll also exclude novelty songs like "Sha La La La" (Venga Boys) which sounds like "Whoops Kirri" (Fruitcake) because novelty music tend to sound alike since they follow a certain formula.

I'll also steer clear of songs that they say sound alike but I just don't hear it, like "Express Yourself" (Madonna) and "Born This Way" (Lady Gaga).

Enough disclaimers.

#1 All I Want, Runaway Train, Lost in Love

Let's start with these three easy listening songs. The similarities are subtle and I'm not sure if I'm the only one who hears it. Take a listen, and if you don't hear it, at least you spent your time listening to good chillout music, which is time well spent.







Moving on from the really subtle to kinda blatant:

#2 When Love Takes Over, Clocks





You have to be deaf, or can hear but in denial, to not acknowledge that these two songs sound alike. To point out the obvious: it's the piano. These are both great songs that I like. Maybe a mashup is in order.

#3 Shadow of the Day, With or Without You, If Life Is So Short







This is weird right? I wish you already know these songs so I won't have to explain, you'll probably just hear it for yourself if you listen to them in a row. I actually don't know how to explain it. It's like these songs can overlay on each other and still jive. I know they are on different keys and tempos but still.

Or you'll probably disagree, but before you do, here's a little experiment: Play one song, and at the chorus, switch to the either of the other two songs. And then tell me that I'm just imagining things :)

#4 Beat It, Whip It, My Sharona







Wanna work out endlessly? Play these three songs in a loop. At some point I guarantee, you'll lose track of which is which.

#5 Story of my Life, Now I Can Dance





Another weird pair. What's weirder is that these songs are like decades apart. I really like Story of my Life, but the first time I heard it, I found myself humming this really old Tina Arena song which I last heard ages ago. Funny how the brain works sometimes. Do you agree with this or am I just weird?

#6 Just The Way You Are, Doesn't Mean Anything





Test yourself: play the lesser known Alicia Keys track first and see if you hear the resemblance with the widely gasgas Bruno Mars hit. I know for sure I'm not the only one, because a Youtube mashup already exists.

#7 Where Are You, Water Runs Dry





Have you ever tried hearing a song playing faintly on the radio and you start singing along to it, only to realize it's an entirely different song? I was in a taxi the other night and heard Where Are You, and I really thought it was Boyz II Men. Nevertheless these are two great easy listening songs. There's never a bad time to listen to these. How I miss old music.

#8 E.T, Bad Blood



Sorry, no embedded track for Bad Blood, because Taylor Swift seems to be in a feud with everyone including Spotify. But If you are familiar with the songs, you might agree that Bad Blood's verses sound very very similar to the whole E.T. song, sung by another Taylor Swift enemy, Katy Perry.

#9 Without You, Wildest Dreams



While we're on Taylor Swift: you probably need to be a fan of these two ladies to catch the similarity. The only difference probably is, Taylor Swift sounds awake and self-aware, while Lana del Rey sounds bored and would rather cut herself. I like both songs. Again, no embed for Swiftie.

#10 One, Walking Away





My favorite soundalikes, mainly because separately, these are still my favorite songs, and because Craig David acknowledges the similarity, he even performed an epic mashup.

#11 It Was Always You, Crazy





Another pair of songs separated by decades. What's weird is, if you try to listen very closely and analyze, they don't really sound the same. But if you don't listen too much, they remind you of each other. Must be the general atmosphere, the same way "Pure Shores" (All Saints) reminds me of "Frozen" (Madonna).

#12 And lastly, the craziest pair yet:



God I hope you know this Sia song, just so I can ask you if the intro also reminds you of...



So, do you agree with my list, or am I just hallucinating and should really do something productive?
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