“Pridyider” (“The Fridge”) – 2013 New York Asian Film Festival Review

Honestly, who can resist a horror movie starring a refrigerator that holds your food…and your friends?  In director Rico Maria Ilarde’s “Pridyider” (“The Fridge”), this blood-thirsty appliance plays the starring role, surpassing the human actors of the movie in terms of interest and personality.

Feeling the pull of her dream to open a restaurant, Tina Benitez (Andi Eigenmann) decides to leave California and return to the house in the Philippines that she inherited from her parents after their mysterious deaths.  Once there, she begins to have hallucinations that her refrigerator is harboring more than just the food she has cooked.  Thinking that she simply needs some fresh air and people to talk to, she befriends her neighbor Celine (Venus Raj) and rekindles a childhood romance with old schoolmate James (JM De Guzman).  However, they are all soon pulled into the mystery of the fridge, and Tina learns that it is more closely linked to her past than she thought.

Because of the movie’s premise, it is practically a given that it will be campy.  Although there are some clunky aspects to the storyline (Tina and James’ blossoming love is as subtly presented as the cat head Tina finds marinating in the fridge one day), those shortcomings are not the point.  Instead, Ilarde chooses to focus on delivering old-fashioned blood and gore rather than a psychological mind game built upon a dozen twists.  The same could be said of the actors.  While not the most versatile, they are not the main attraction – the killer refrigerator is.

“The Fridge” is low-budget in appearance and draws from the horror genre’s best tropes.  There are things that go bump in the night, but do not expect anything slicker than a bloody tentacle unfurling from a glowing refrigerator door.  In fact, there are scenes that are just downright funny because of their sheer ridiculousness, such as the gushing bloodbath when a witch doctor is hired to attempt an exorcism of the fridge’s demon.  You may laugh, even if that is not the movie’s original intent.

“The Fridge” screens at the New York Asian Film Festival on Wed., July 10, at 3:30 p.m. at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  For ticket information, go to filmlinc.com.