Carla Abellana, Erich Gonzales and Lovi Poe  (MNS Photo)

Carla Abellana, Erich Gonzales and Lovi Poe (MNS Photo)

The longest-running local horror film franchise, “Shake, Rattle & Roll” is back after a year of slumber.

For the first time in the series, Erich Gonzales joins the cast and says the hiatus is certain to have heightened excitement among the fans. “I’m sure talagang hindi nila papalampasin ito,” she says.

Returnees Carla Abellana (appearing for the second time in the series) and Lovi Poe (appearing for the third time in the series) share Erich’s sentiment.

Lovi, who stars in the segment “Flight 666,” thinks the one-year layoff did the franchise good, saying, “Kasi andun ’yung na-miss din siya ng mga tao.”

Carla, for her part, notes, “Maganda din ’yung tipong hinahanap-hanap nila.”

“Flight 666” director Perci Intalan promises fans that the installment will have “all the elements the people love in ‘Shake.’”

He adds, “For first-time viewers, I think they will see kung ano ’yung nakita nung unang mga nanood ng ‘Shake,’ kung bakit tinangkilik nila ito for so many years.”

Jerrold Tarog, who directed the “Ulam” segment, assures viewers they have come up with “a really good product.”

For Lovi, the biggest challenge in doing “Flight 666” is having to conquer her fear of heights.

May scene dun na bubuksan ko ’yung pintuan ng plane kasi nag-land na kami,” she recalls. “Walang tatalunan. Kinabahan nga ako kasi ayoko nang tumalon dun sa slide! (laughs) So buti na lang hindi ako pinatalon. Ganun ako ka-takot sa heights, kahit slide, hindi ko kaya.”

Erich topbills the “Ahas” episode, said to be inspired by an urban legend.

Asked if she has encountered a real snake before, Erich says, “Nakahawak na po ako, and ’yung experience ko siguro, (nakakakaba lang) kapag ’yung mga damo na matataas, hindi mo alam kapag naglakad ka dun, may lumilitaw na ahas. Pero hindi pa naman po ako nakakagat…”

Carla, who first worked with Jerrold in the “SR&R XII” segment “Punerarya,” will again share screentime with “My Huband’s Lover” co-star Dennis Trillo in “Ulam.”

Eto siguro ’yung pinaka-kadiri… (sa story), pinapakain kami ng butiki, aso, mga laman-loob na hindi namin alam,” says Carla.

“Shake, Rattle & Roll XV,” which is said to be the most expensive installment of the horror film franchise, also stars Matteo Guidicelli and JC de Vera, among others. The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry opens in theaters on Dec. 25. (MNS)