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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 24, 2015

Writer-Director Jun Lana Brings Back Classic Horror Films In Regal Filmfest Entry 'Haunted Mansion'

FRESH FROM THE success of his rom-com, “The Prenup”, and the critically acclaimed “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” that won awards abroad, Writer-Director Rodolfo Jun Lana has a new movie to watch out for, the youth-oriented horror flick, “Haunted Mansion”, an entry in the Metro-Manila Filmfest that starts on Christmas Day. The 43-year old director loves doing horror stories as this is where he started as a director.

“My first directorial job was ‘Wag Kang Kukurap’, a horror anthology sa GMA hosted by Dingdong Dantes that ran for two years, from 2004 to 2006,” he says. “It’s based on local ghost stories at lahat ng klaseng pananakot, nagawa ko na dyan. Then I did horror flicks for the big screen, like ‘Kulam’ with Judy Ann Santos and ‘Tarot’ with Marian Rivera. For ‘Haunted Mansion’, I want to return to classic horror films that do not rely so much on special effects. Actually, I wrote the script of ‘Haunted Mansion’ originally as ‘Retreat House’ and gave it to Roselle Monteverde five years ago. Somehow, hindi namin mahanapan ng tamang cast so parang hinintay nito ang batch ng star namin ngayon dito na sina Janella Salvador, Marlo Mortel and Jerome Ponce who have their own following dahil sa hit show nilang ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.”

We heard they started shooting this in April yet? “Yes, hindi ito minadali para mapaganda nang husto. This is one of Regal’s biggest budgeted horror films. We shot this on location sa mansions owned by the Marcoses in Cabuyao, Laguna. Mrs. Marcos herself signed the permit to allow us shoot there. Maganda yung location and according doon sa mga katiwala, may ghosts talaga silang nakikita doon sa mansion.

The story is about this group of high school students who hold a retreat there. Janella plays a girl who has the sixth sense and can see dead people. But she doesn’t want to use it kasi the last time she did, something bad happened. Her father died, so she was traumatized. Kaso, yung classmates niya, binulabog yung restless spirits sa mansion so their lives are put in danger. Janella has no choice but to use her sixth sense to save her classmates.”

Also in the movie are Iza Calzado, LJ Reyes, Dominic Ochoa and Joem Bascon as the ghosts whose past life in the 50s will be shown in flashbacks. Playing the teachers of Janella are Janice de Belen and Sue Prado while her classmates, along with Marlo and Jerome, are Sharlene San Pedro, Devon Seron, Ingrid de la Paz, Pythos Ramirez and Elisa Pineda. Playing the role of the mansion’s caretakers are Lilet, Allan Paule and Vangie Labalan.