Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara (English: lit. "Kill Barbara with Panic", a.k.a. "Scare Barbara to Death") is a 1974 Filipino psychological horror film, directed by Celso Ad. Castillo. It stars Susan Roces as the eponymous character.
Barbara returns home from abroad after news has reached of her sister Ruth's unexpected passing. After the funeral, she goes to stay with her brother-in-law Fritz and distraught young niece Karen in the family's large mansion, which Barbara forfeited her rights to after the passing of her parents. A flashback shows that Fritz and Ruth had a troubled marriage. After hearing from a psychic that her husband is being unfaithful, Ruth confronts him. He denies it but refuses to swear before a cross. In a jealous rage, she commits suicide and haunts the household through a doll to exact revenge on everyone who wronged her.
The movie was remade in 1995 and as a TV series in 2008. The 1995 version starred Lorna Tolentino and is more well-known than the original. This page, however, is strictly for the 1974 version only. Aside from turning Barbara and Ruth into stepsisters, the story mostly remained the same as its title, which simply removed the "Mo"note . Two very minor changes. Hence, the title is mostly referred to as Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara.
Provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Downplayed. Fritz, which is a German name, is pretty unusual, especially compared to the more common names (at least in the Philippines) used for the other characters. This was in the 1970s though, and names in modern times had just gotten more arbitrary.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Ruth eventually became this to Barbara as they grew up, enough to be a younger sister bully when she found out she was the "other woman" Fritz has been seeing.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Ruth is defeated this way when God finally decided to give a helping hand, and struck two separate bolts of lightning; one at her grave marker and one at the mirror she was egging on Barbara to stab herself with. Ruth's spirit burns in front of Barbara, implying she's been damned to the fires of hell because of the many sins she's already committed even after her death.
- Cain and Abel: Ruth wants to kill Barbara. With panic, might I add.
- Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the mirror-plated cross Aling Benita used earlier to exorcise Ruth out of Karen's body. Barbara attempted to use it again on Ruth, but Ruth has grown stronger and continuously gets in Barbara's way.
- Creepy Child: Karen, when she's being influenced by her mother's anger and hatred, causing her to stare daggers at her father.
- Creepy Doll: The doll that Ruth instructed her daughter, Karen, to keep by her side as it would be the portal from her realm to the realm of the living. The doll also shows up in Fritz's and Barbara's hallucinations or nightmares, appears out of nowhere, and in one scene is able to walk all by itself. Fritz also hallucinates the doll being able to bleed when he thrashes it all over the room.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: During Ruth and Barbara's climactic confrontation, Barbara is repeatedly slashed by a ghostly Ruth and her injuries can't bring herself to grab the only object capable of weakening the angry spirit; a mirror-plated cross.
- Dying Curse: Ruth, to the woman Fritz was supposedly cheating on her with.
- Dying Declaration of Hate: Ruth, laying on her deathbed after a fatal suicide attempt, does this to Fritz.
- Gorn: A little bit with Ruth's suicide and the resulting blood splatter. It's taken up to eleven during the climax between Barbara and Ruth, where Barbara suffers many injuries to her arms despite it being less bloody.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Barbara has a nightmare of Karen's doll staring at her with white glowing eyes in the dark.
- Gratuitous English: Not that it's unjustified as Filipino languages tend to be sprinkled with English throughout since the American colonization. What stands out though is a childish voice from a telephone telling Fritz, "I'm coming. I hate you. I'm going to kill you," and is later repeated by the doll in a more distorted voice when its string is pulled.
- Driven to Suicide: A frantic Ruth locks herself in a room, throws stuff around and shatters a mirror in the process. With a huge shard from said mirror, she stabs herself repeatedly in the stomach with it. She doesn't die there, but breathes her last breath in a hospital bed, long enough to swear revenge on the woman her husband is supposedly having an affair with.
- Extreme Doormat: Barbara, in the past, always gave in to Ruth's demands, including the lease of her parents' big mansion and rejecting Fritz so she could have him for herself.
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Once Ruth grew strong enough to attack Barbara without the help of a corporeal body, she leaves many slashes on Barbara's body time and time again until she can no longer stand up and fight. She then compells her to commit suicide in the same way Ruth did with a broken mirror. She fails, thank God. Literally, see Bolt of Divine Retribution.
- I'll Kill You!: With panic!. No really, Ruth says this to Barbara while possessing Karen after she finds out Barbara was the woman Fritz loved.
- Also: "I'm coming. I hate you. I'm going to kill you."
- Improbably Female Cast: With one exception of Fritz, most of the major characters are female. Barbara, the vengeful sister Ruth, daughter/niece Karen, nanny Erlyn, Fritz's personal assistant Miss Esguerra, and a minor psychic character named Beatrice. During the second half of the movie taking place at the island, there's Aling Benita. There were two minor male characters in which one is a limo driver and the other drives a motorboat, but they otherwise don't affect the story at all.
- Ominous Music Box Tune: The movie uses this as its opening theme, and is later heard playing from an actual music box.
- Pet the Dog: As unhinged as Ruth was in life and outright malicious during the afterlife, she seemed to have genuinely loved her daughter Karen, enough for Karen to be devastated when Ruth died, hinting that they had a loving relationship. Later, when Barbara threatens to kill Karen (as Ruth has possessed her body) in self-defense, she immediately gets out of her daughter's body to confront Barbara as herself.
- Rapunzel Hair: Ruth's hair goes down to her waist. It adds to the effect when she begins scaring people.
- Sacrificial Lion: Poor Aling Benita. Her last words were literally screaming for Barbara for help.
- Spoiler Title: The identity of the woman Ruth wants to seek revenge on is right there in the title.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Ruth, and combined with being a Woman in White, predates the example for Filipinos before they even knew it's a Japanese and/or East Asian horror thing. The hair never obscures her face, though.
- By sheer coincidence, she's an onryō because her death is related to having been wronged by a man (maybe) and now seeks revenge on the living as a spirit.
- The Un-Reveal: Whether or not Fritz really had an affair with Barbara during their marriage is not clear (he went to the States, same place where Barbara is abroad, during his business trips). It's worth noting though that he and Barbara loved each other first until Ruth reveals she's also in love with Fritz, and threatened suicide if she couldn't have him. In a twisted act of devotion, Fritz courted and married Ruth for Barbara's sake. Ruth always knew that Fritz will always love Barbara and not her, so she might've killed herself out of paranoia.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Barbara reminisces how she and Ruth used to get along, but grew apart as they got older. Ruth also grew increasingly jealous of Barbara being the favorite.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Erlyn, Karen's nanny, also accompany Barbara and Karen when they go on vacation to an island but she's never seen again after Ruth (pretending to be Barbara) tells her to pick up Aling Benita and go with the man riding the motorboat. One assumes that they might've eloped instead.
- Woman in White: Ruth comes back to haunt everyone in her long white funeral gown. In the climactic fight with Barbara, however, she's somehow switched her gown with a pink house dress.
- Woman Scorned: Ruth. Or at least she thinks she's been scorned.