Say Yes

'Pridyider' is something else entirely; a vision of madness that is completely original.

Pridyider is a movie that you need to say “yes” to. The movie offers so much weirdness and counterintuitive choices that it’s entirely too easy to dismiss outright. All you’d have to do is start asking questions, and most of it falls apart immediately. But if you can get past that initial instinct, the movie offers a rather unique vision that can be immensely enjoyable given the right mindset. Pridyider can be wrong in so many ways, but its wrongness is exactly what makes it so appealing.

Years ago, Tina (Andi Eigenmann) was sent away to the United States to live with her aunt because of an incident involving her parents that has never been explained to her. She moves back to the Philippines into their old home, hoping for a new start. Unfortunately for her, she’s not alone in the house. The kitchen is home to a demonic, man-eating refrigerator. Tina must dig into the past to discover the truth about what happened to her parents, and to find a way to defeat the infernal appliance.

Pridyider cannot sustain itself against any sort of scrutiny. The moment you start asking questions is also the moment you stop enjoying the movie. This is, after all, a movie where a one-eyed hobo ex-policeman greets visitors to his shack by pointing a triple-barreled shotgun at them. A triple-barreled shotgun, one should note, that he later uses to blow air into a fire. The film willfully ignores narrative logic and continuity, and is thus filled with scenes that defy all reason. The main character cuts her hand, but never bandages it. She is constantly greeting people at knifepoint, and later engages in a surprisingly skillful bout of knife fencing. Their plans are silly, the props are ludicrous, and much of the dialogue sounds like it came from a fever dream.

But it’s also all spectacularly enjoyable. This is, after all, a movie about a demonic appliance, and the joy in that has very little to do with narrative logic or continuity. It comes from impressively rendered tentacles pulling characters toward a grisly death. It comes from dangerous hobos making dumb jokes about a missing eye. The more unhinged the movie gets from reality, the better it gets. The movie actually takes too long to get to the crazy stuff, burdened with an interminable first act that seems intent to make everything feel normal. But normal isn’t what makes this movie hum.

The cast is more than game to put up with all the nuttiness. Andi Eigenmann offers a look of pure determination that gets her character through the oddest moments. JM de Guzman is keenly earnest as the love interest. The romantic subplot is kind of extraneous to all this, but he does well enough under the circumstances. And in smaller roles, we have some of the finest actors in the country. Joel Torre and Ronnie Lazaro can make anything work, and in this movie, they certainly do that. Janice de Belen takes a welcome turn as well, providing exactly what the movie needed.

Pridyider is likely to be described by many as “so-bad-it’s-good.” But that’s a little reductive. The film offers something a little more than that. It offers gumption and vision, a complete commitment to utter strangeness. It happily leaves the confines of local horror movie convention and trips into Raimi-esque weirdness. It would still be a stretch to call the movie “good” in the traditional sense of the word, but it doesn’t need to be tied to that standard anyway. It is something else entirely; a vision of madness that is completely original. Go in and say “yes,” and you might be in for a good time.

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