The Killer Bride is a 2019 Philippine drama television series starring Maja Salvador in the title role, alongside Janella Salvador, Joshua Garcia, Geoff Eigenmann, and a generally pretty star-studded Ensemble Cast. The series aired on ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida evening block and worldwide on The Filipino Channel from August 12, 2019 to January 17, 2020.
Naïve Everygirl Emma Bonaobra (Janella Salvador) moves from bustling Manila to Las Espadas, inexplicably drawn to the sleepy and superstitious town. While working as a mortuary cosmetologist at a funeral home, she learns her purpose in Las Espadas the hard way: she gets violently possessed by the ghost of Camila dela Torre (Maja Salvador). Dubbed the Killer Bride after being framed for the murder of her brother-in-law on her wedding day, Camila vowed to make her tormentors pay as she died in a prison fire.
The plot draws inspiration from José Rizal's 1891 novel El Filibusterismo.
BEWARE OF SPOILERS. The Killer Bride is a heavily serialized show with a complex mystery at its heart.
Tropes found in The Killer Bride:
- The Beautiful Elite: The dela Torres and dela Cuestas are filthy rich Old Money clans. As such, the members of these families are quite aristocratically beautiful. This is punctuated by the fact that the dela Torre sisters Alice and Tati are played by real-life beauty queens Ariella Arida and Lara Quigaman; the household matriarch Lola Guada is also played by a beauty queen, Aurora Sevilla.
- Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: On her wedding day, Camila wakes up with a knife in her hand and her wedding dress stained with Javier's blood. This is a Frame-Up which kicks off the whole plot.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Alice is this big time.
- Bookends: The story starts with Emma falsely claiming to be possessed by the ghost of Camila dela Torre. In the final few episodes, Emma actually is being possessed by Camila.
- The Corrupter: Alice of all people is this to both Luciano and Juan Felipe. Even so, she has nothing to do with Juan Felipe's abuse of her.
- Consistent Clothing Style: Emma wears off-shoulders tops or dresses with different colors and patterns most of the time (except for special occasions) even after Camila reveals herself and her scheme to the public. Camila starts wearing long sleeve dresses or blouses with pearl necklaces for the second half of the show after revealing to the public that she's still alive.
- Demonic Possession: Double Subverted. Camila possesses Emma many years after her apparent death.Or so it seems. It's all an act. However, in the series' last episodes, Emma gets possessed by Camila for real.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Camila names her daughter Vida, meaning "life" in Spanish. Lampshaded when her cellmates think she named her daughter bida, which means "hero" in Tagalog. Once corrected, they find it ostentatious, which is apt, given Camila's fancy background. Albeit strangely, the common Spanish loan word hacienda is avoided all throughout the series, perhaps because of how infamous the term has become in the Philippines, following real-life mestizo clans' high-profile controversies connected to the word hacienda.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite functioning as an obnoxious Hate Sink for most of the story, Luciano is really not wrong when he points out that Guada trying to one-up her social rival at an auction for a little turtle sculpture is stupid. Guada heeds her son's advice and stops nearly wasting money on it.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The final scenes of "Face of Fear" reveal that none of the supernatural stuff going on is actually happening. It was all orchestrated from behind the scenes by Camila, who is very much alive and vengeful. However, in the final weeks, Iking begins to see the ghost of Belinda dela Torre, who was supposedly raped by Armando dela Cuesta. Belinda's ghost is implied to be real. Ultimately confirmed: ghosts are indeed real.
- Overarching Villain: Surprise! It's Alice.
- Real After All: After Camila is killed by Alice, it seems like Camila isn't dead and pulling the same trick as before by pretending to be a ghost. But it turns out that Camila is really dead and has become an actual ghost.
- Spree Killer: The killer groom is this, murdering multiple people with ties to Camila in just days.
- Vengeful Ghost: Camila becomes this after she and Vida died in a prison fire. However, it's faked the first time around with Emma's help, but after Alice murders Camila, she truly does become this trope.