MALLARI on Netflix is a Filipino horror movie about cursed families, people who can time travel (sort of), and ghosts. Good potential but it’s way too long. Read our full Mallari movie review here!

Mallari (2023) is a Filipino Horror movie on Netflix. Anyone who has watched a Filipino movie will know that the language spoken often includes entire sentences or pieces of dialogue in English. Much like movies from India. Also, you’ll hear many Spanish words.

Whatever language is spoken, the runtime of just over two hours is too much for this story. And with everything from century-long curses on families to a sort of time traveler ability, the story is quite messy. However, what’s worse is the scares that don’t work.

Continue reading our Mallari movie review below. Find it on Netflix from June 21, 2024.

An intriguing story worth knowing

The story in Mallari is based on a horrific true story, which I will get back to. However, I can say that in this movie, we become familiar with Father Severino Mallari. He was a 19th-century priest during the Spanish occupation.

Unfortunately for the people in his parish in Pampanga, he descents into madness and kills people. A lot of people!

All supposedly in an attempt to help his ailing mother live longer.

In the story told in this movie, we get several stories that interlink three generations of the Mallari family. From Juan Severino in 1812 to Johnrey in 1948, and finally Jonathan, in 2023.

Both Johnrey and Jonathan have the ability to see and move across time. Well, sort of, you’ll have to watch the movie to know the ins and outs of their gift as “travelers”. For the record, I liked this part as it gave the story an extra edge.

What I did not like was the crazy chronology of the storytelling, the repetition of both scenes (in part due to the time travel aspect) and the same CGI “horror faces” that were anything but scary. Well, to me anyway.

For the record, only Severino is based on a real person. His descendants are fictional.

Mallari (2023) – Review | Filipino Horror on Netflix

Mallari is based on a true story

This Filipino horror movie is based on the true story of the Philippines’ first documented serial killer. His name was Juan Severino Mallari, just like in this movie, which was named after him.

Of course, claiming that Severino is a “documented serial killer” when he lived from 1785 to 1840 is a bit odd. The term serial killer wasn’t used until 1974. Actually, the term was “serial homicide” when FBI agent Robert Ressler first used it in a lecture.


A serial killer is someone who murders two or more people over a significant period of time. That last part is important as it would otherwise be a mass murderer.

Obviously, the fact that the term didn’t come into use until the 1970s takes nothing away from the actions of Severino Mallari. Of course, he can still be described as a serial killer in the present day with the terminology we use now.

However, in Mallari, the term is also used in a scene that plays out in the Philippines in the 1940s. When someone states that the US is full of serial killers, this may have been true, but no one would have called them by that descriptor back then.

A small error, but also one that could easily have been avoided. Just watch Mindhunter on Netflix for a bit more background on the origin and terminology of serial killers.

Watch Mallari on Netflix now

Roderick Cabrido (U-Turn) is the director of Mallari and the screenplay comes from Enrico C. Santos, who also wrote the story, so this is very much his project. Well, the story anyway, because the execution of the storytelling must be Roderick Cabrido.

As already mentioned, this horror movie is based on the true story of Severino Mallari, who reportedly killed 57 people before he was arrested and ultimately hanged. And yes, he was a Filipino Catholic Priest, so it follows the basic facts.


Read up on Father Juan Severino Mallari on Wikipedia here >

I would recommend watching it for the very direct approach to this true story. However, the special effects and CGI are brutally awful. Even if the first scene with the ghastly ghouls may scare you, the tenth time, there will hardly be a blip in your pulse.

Mallari is on Netflix from June 21, 2024.


Director: Roderick Cabrido
Screenwriter: Enrico C. Santos
Stars: Piolo Pascual, Janella Salvador, Elisse Joson, JC Santos, Gloria Diaz, Tommy Alejandrino


A doctor scours his family’s occult history for a way to prevent his fiancee’s death, only to find secrets that link to a series of 19th-century murders.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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