Haunted Forest tells the story of Nica, a teenager forced to leave her life behind when her estranged policeman father who got reassigned to the province. The once peaceful town is now haunted by “sitsit,” a supernatural being who preys on women, eventually leaving the victim’s lifeless body in the middle of the forest. This movie is directed by Ian Lorenos under Regal Films.
Casts: Jane Oineza, Jameson Blake, Maris Racal, Jon Lucas, Raymart Santiago, Joey Marquez, Jerald Napoles, Betong Sumaya, Myrtle Sarrosa, Miho Nishida, Beverly Salviejo, Kelvin Miranda
Genre: Horror, Thriller
WHAT I LIKE?
Haunted Forest is the only Horror Film entry at the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival. Somehow, the spotlight is on this film being a lone offering in the genre. Overall, Haunted Forest was a good movie in terms of the following aspects: (1) Casting: Regal Films has somehow given a good venue for uprising and talented celebrities in their films. For Haunted Forest, they made a good choice in casting young and fresh faces. I actually loved the mix of new and veteran actors. Jane, being the lead actress, gave a very impressive performance. Perhaps, this is Jane’s best so far after her stint from Star Cinema’s Bloody Crayons. I have high respects with her even more after watching the movie. Maris, one of my favorite actresses so far, also did a good job on her portrayal as Jane’s cousin in the film. Her charm and lovely aura is just hard not too admire. Jameson and Jon were good supports as well. Jameson has the tendency to become a good leading man too. The addition of veteran actors namely Raymart Santiago and Joey Marquez was also a good move to compliment the talented cast. (2) Prosthetic: I must commend Regal Films for staging an impressive “Sitsit” Creature for this film. After the successful Haunted Mansion, the movie was able to pull-off some scary shit with this creature. I am glad they have learned so much in making monsters over the years. By far, this is one of their best monster creations too. Aside from that, the make-up of those dead women are also great and quite disturbing at all. The climax almost got me at the edge of my seat for a while. Overall, the movie is enjoyable with a fairly good mixture of teen romance, drama and thrills which can be mostly appreciated by die-hard fans of its young and talented leads.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE?
Honestly, Haunted Forest is better off an episode of a Shake, Rattle & Roll Movie rather than being a full movie after all. I don’t think the whole material is not enough to stand alone as an amazing Horror Movie. I can’t help but compare it with their previous movie – Haunted Mansion which is by far the best Pinoy Horror Movie for me in terms of technicalities. Overall, the phasing is so slow. It is far-stretched with unnecessary melodramatic scenes and some cringe-worthy conversations and script which I find thinly-written. Despite some good Production design, the movie still fails to deliver enough creepy feels and darkness as most of the night scenes in the forest are well-lit. It did not fully maximize the horror scenes and was pulled off with laid-back scenes that could have been way better in terms of execution. Moreover, how I wish CGI Effects were lesson during the Climax too. The climax was good but the visual effects made it a little goofy.
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