2017

Haunted Forest

 

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FILM INFO

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.

RATINGS:

6.5/10 Popcorn

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2017

The Debutantes

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

The Debutantes is a story of girls aspiring for an enjoyable 18th birthday celebration but has instead turned bloody with a curse cast upon them. This is directed by Prime Cruz under Regal Entertainment Inc.

Casts: Sue Ramirez, Miles Ocampo, Michelle Vito, Jane de Leon, Chanel Morales, Paolo Gumabao,

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Previous Movies of Prime Cruz: Can we still be friends? (Star Cinema, 2017)

WHAT I LIKE?

As a horror film, The Debutantes is generally consistent with its tone, formula and storyline. Horror films produced by Regal Films lately are really changing the industry’s trend in Pinoy Horror film-making. What I like about The Debutantes is its risk in bringing in young and fresh faces in showbiz as its main characters. It was actually refreshing to see these young, talented and beautiful ladies who each portrayed well in their respective roles. Sue was a great lead actress. I can see her shining in every scene and she was able portray well that weirdo and troubled kind of person. Michelle, Chanel, Jane & Miles were all great too. The 3 mean girls were pretty annoying hence they are all effective. Miles was a good support lead too. In terms of plot, The Debutantes is straight-forward in being a Horror film with a handful of solid jump-out scares and fairly-executed death scenes. Its a bloody ride indeed. The sound effects were good and the horror scenes are safely done without some obvious CGI effects. Its dark, silent and mysterious.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The main problem I see with The Debutantes is its obvious flaw of revealing the twist at the first half of the movie. The mystery and excitement of its promising material was ruined because of its predictability in the first place. If you are to indentify the turn around of its plot on the early part, there is no more grand or special to expect but see the characters die one by one. This ain’t a spoiler. The trailer already gave a glimpse of them dying in horrible ways. Being scary in general, the film is only average compared with Regal Film’s best Horror movie so far – Haunted Mansion. What The Debutantes lack is the intensity of its death scenes. I could have expected more since there’s a lot to improve in Pinoy Horror films nowadays. Majority of the death scenes could have been more creative and bloodier too. I mean, the movie is totally dark and straight forward so I expect that they will invest on bloody scenes. Unfortunately, death scenes are in small proportions that could have been way better. The talented casts were really put into waste by its poorly-written storyline that is utterly forgetable. You may or may not watch this on cinemas.

RATINGS:

5/10 Popcorns.

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2016

My Rebound Girl

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After a redeeming output for the Horror film – The Haunted Mansion and Horror-comedy I Love You to Death, Regal Films cuts the trend as it brought another disappointing RomCom with My Rebound Girl. Despite a promosing Joseph Marco, a semi-annoying quirkiness of Alex Gonzaga, the film is as bitter as its concept about coffee industry. If there’s one worthy reason to watch this is plainly because of Joseph Marco and his abs. Lousy and uninteresting. Chemistry is generally their but the love team suffered from a very weak plot and character development.   Its generally a feel-good movie that is as bitter as its concept about coffee. Thanks to Joseph Marco’s charm for making it a little bearable to watch for more than 2 hours. You can pass on this one. 2/5 stars.

2016

I Love You to Death

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Watched I Love You To Death with very low expectations as I believe it would be another non-sense Pinoy flick but ended loving the film afterwards. This is surely the best Pinoy Horror-comedy after D’Anothers & Bulong in terms of Cinematography & Production design. Yes, Regal Films invested on quite impressive visual take on this film. Well, it is evident on its recent flick, Haunted Mansion. Comedy was good. Kiray was the star. Her performance made me loved her even more. Enchong was in his craft too. Their chemistry was also good. Loved the supporting characters as well. They were all given moments to shine in the film. The mix of horror was great. Death scenes are a bit gory than goofy as a whole. Well, it is generally non-sense but this surely will make you laugh and scare you a little. 3/5 stars.

2015

Haunted Mansion

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Regal Films finally regained their Horror reputation with Haunted Mansion. I actually enjoyed this MMFF Entry with some pretty solid jump-out scares and gory scenes that are quite impressive of a Pinoy film. The film is truly a masterpiece as it boast good production design and cinematography. Musical scoring was also good. Good choice for the Mansion by the way as the setting. This time, Regal Films deviated from adding goofy scenes and invested on dark atmosphere and serious straight horror formula. Gone are the SRR days actually. It may be a risk but putting in some young teen stars worked well. Janella Salvador showed her best acting abilities and did not disappoint in the film. Marlo and Jerome were able lead men as well. Other cast were a good support. I so love the female bullies in the film. Horror sequences were delivered with a punch. Flashback scenes were justified well. Haunted Mansion may contain some of Hollywood’s Horror cliché but this was for me one of the best Pinoy horror film to date. As a Horror fan, I am satisfied. 5/5 stars.

2015

The PreNup

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The PreNup offers an adequate amount of romance and comedy that is mainly attributed to Jennyln’s charm and proven acting in Pinoy Romcom industry. Well, I even loved her even more on this film. Sam was a vital accessory though as they bring some on-screen chemistry with Jen. I just have a little problem on the way they establish the plot. Despite a rough and rush start, the film manages to survive with some notable performances and good laughs from Gardo V., Dominic O., Melai C & Jacklyn Jose. Generally relatable plot and characters, The PreNup is worth-watching once 🙂 3.5/5 stars.