How to Disappear Completely. 2013. Philippines. Directed by Raya Martin. With Ness Roque, Shamaine Buencamino, Nonie Buencamino. In Filipino; English subtitles. 79 min.
“I want to kill you. I want to kill all of you. I want to kill my feelings,” intones a teenage girl in the film’s opening scene. Blood is shed, children are assaulted, and shots are fired, but extreme violence is more suggested than shown in How to Disappear Completely. The teenage girl lives in a dysfunctional family with her joyless mother and alcoholic father, and abuse is just a matter of time. Then a spirit, in the form of an old lady with long white hair, visits the girl at night—but what are her intentions? The pulsating electronic score, by Eyedress, seems more like a character than an accompaniment, unleashing an atmosphere of distress and menace. Raya Martin’s film deftly combines horror and experimentalism to critique Philippine society and uncover its subconscious.