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Film / The Healing

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The Healing is a 2012 Filipino horror suspense film.

After her father suffered from a severe stroke, Seth decided to bring him to Manang Elsa, a faith healer who apparently can cure illnesses. They return home and he regains his strength much to her surprise and the whole neighborhood's. This causes her to bring along her friends whom five of them wish to be healed, her son's half-sister — who was also very sick — who (her son) pleaded to have her healed also visit, crossing paths with them. Eventually, they all get better after seemingly worsening results. However, after a series of gruesome but similar events that involved those healed going berserk and committing murders before they ultimately kill themselves, Seth begins to wonder if there was a price exchanged from these healings.


Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Needless to say, beheading someone by machete (a really old and blunt looking one at that) would require more than one strike and would've been quite a mess, unlike one clean slice as if he had just been subjected to an invisible guillotine. Considering that Greta is possessed by a demonic doppelganger, it could've been intentional with the double's supernatural strength.
  • Adult Fear: Cita fears for her daughter Cacai greatly after finally knowing that the curse has a pattern and everybody was to die eventually. Her fears eventually come true and swore to stand by close to her which is unfortunately not enough to save her daughter.
    • Seth cares greatly for Cookie even if she's not at all related to her by blood and tries her best to protect her from the curse because she felt that she's responsible for their deaths as she was the one who pleaded for Manang Elsa to heal them when she's been refusing. She's luckier however.
  • Back from the Dead: As Seth and her father leave, a commotion stirs when a man collapses. As it turns out later pointed out by Melchor, he had a heart attack and was already dead. Elsa however "cures" (read: unknowingly revives) him. This somehow incites a curse to whomever went to Elsa for healing after that to die.
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  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of the onscreen deaths are like this. Greta stabs her husband with a knife to his torso before beheading him with a machete. In front of everyone! She then sets to kill her children but Seth and Cita chase her, hanging herself as they arrive. This was when the movie was progressing to each death getting more and more graphic as people continue to die.
  • Curse: As mentioned above, Elsa had "cured" somebody who was supposed to be dead. The life that was used to revitalize him was the lives of the following murdered patients that Manang Elsa "cured" after him.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The next half of the film after Seth is finally convinced that there are patterns to the deaths and now she is up to stop the curse.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Workers plural. Ding, already possessed by his doppelganger, kills the tenants and some of his teammates during a raid at a motel. Most of the said tenants that were caught in the scene before they die are implied to be call boys.
  • Doppelgänger: Used to describe the figures that demonize the patients before their deaths.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Seth. And yes, it's the name of the middle-aged female protagonist. One of your usual Filipino naming conventions.
  • Gorn
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The egregious aversion of this trope was what may have contributed to the film's success. Other than that, pretty much every death scene is meant to be presented as such.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: A Buddhist monk suffers from this after Cacai is possessed to kill the praying monks.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Cacai, much to her mother's horror.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Dodi, the gay hostage taker gets it from himself after killing others in possibly the same way.
  • Infant Immortality: One of those who came to be healed was Cacai, Seth's friend Cita's young daughter who had become blind. Mercilessly averted as she slaughters the praying monks and finally jumps to her death, impaled to a flag pole.
    • Ruben and Greta's children are implied to have lived though they're never seen again.
  • Jump Scare: An unlikely usage shown in the end. With the curse over, Seth and Jed shake an unconscious Cookie, who wakes up surprisingly for one final scare.
  • Karmic Protection: Seth brings her father to be healed by Manang Elsa as seen in the beginning. It was a success and the man has even gone back to his old drinking and womanizing ways. After realizing a curse with the healed patients, she begins to worry for her father. But because he was healed just right before Elsa is mentioned to have revived someone which starts a dark curse, he is spared and lives on. Lucky guy.
  • Losing Your Head: Ruben, courtesy of a possessed Greta armed with a machete.
  • Mood Whiplash: Anything involving Odong, Seth's father, inevitably turns one serious moment to an absurd scene pertaining to blue humor much to his daughter's annoyance. He has so far provided the few dabs of funny when the movie is not being violent or scary. It's a good thing that he didn't die.
  • Murder-Suicide: The glaring characteristic of the curse is to possess the healed patient by an evil alter-ego, go on a killing spree and finally kill themselves.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Had Seth not decided to call to warn Cita who's already struggling with a rambunctious Cacai whose hand she was already holding before being completely distracted, she could've had a chance to be spared since her mother had been keeping her close all this time.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Cookie, the last patient to be healed, was last seen suffering the same fate as her doppelganger (who takes over Jed's form later) attempts to kill Seth and most likely Cookie herself later on. It ends when Melchor shoots Dario dead in his cell. Then she abruptly snaps back to consciousness, thus finishing the movie.
  • Ravens and Crows: The movie uses its classic portrayal as the harbinger of a bad omen. It symbolically falls out of the sky when the curse has ended.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Seth visits Dario in jail, bringing him lunch that had been poisoned. She knows that the curse will end once he dies but she backs out due to this reason.
  • Woman On Fire: Alma pushes off her dorm mates from the balcony then douses herself with kerosene then lighting it up. Instead of running around though, her flaming body simply falls down as she burns to death.


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