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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 20, 2017

Regal Entertainment's Horror Flick, 'Haunted Forest', Makes It As An Official Entry In This Year's Coming Metro-Manila Filmfest

WE’RE SO happy for Regal Entertainment and Mother Lily Monteverde that it was their horror entry, “Haunted Forest”, that was chosen as official entry in the Metro-Manila Filmfest this coming Christmas holidays. A horror film is always a surefire hit in the annual film fiesta, just like last year’s “Seklusyon” which was not even scary.

Two years ago, Regal’s entry was “Haunted Mansion” and it ended up as one of the topgrossers even if its stars have no proven track record at the box office, led by Janella Salvador. The films of Janella after that didn’t do well at the tills, like “Mano Po VII” and “Bloody Crayons”.

Now, she has a new film that was also entered in the filmfest, “My Fairy Tale Love Story”, a fantasy-romance. But we think it’s “Haunted Forest” that has better chances of being a blockbuster since, for some unexplainable reason, viewers just want to get a good scare at the movies on Christmastime.

Just like “Haunted Mansion”, “Haunted Forest” also has no big stars in its cast. They’re mostly
borrowed young stars from Star Magic, like Jane Oineza, Maris Racal, Jameson Blake and Jon Lucas, who are supported by more senior stars Raymart Santiago and Joey Marquez. This is under the direction of Ian Lorenos who, last year, also entered the family drama “Mano Po VII”, but which failed to make it as an official entry. As they say, kundi ukol, di bubukol. He’ll be vindicated this time since “Haunted Mansion” is the only horror entry in this year’s festival and has great chances of ending as one of the topgrossers.

The other three entries revealed last Friday are “Ang Larawan”, a period musical starring Rachel Alejandro, Joanna Ampil and Paulo Avelino; “Siargao”, a romance filmed in the surfing capital of Mindanao starring Jericho Rosales and Erich Gonzales; and “Dedma Walking”, a gay comedy with Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman from producer Rex Tiri who has tried joining the festival before but was not successful until this time.

The other four entries previously approved are “All of You”, a romantic-comedy-drama with Derek Ramsay and Jennylyn Mercado from Quantum Films who has a good track record at the filmfest with past hits like “English Only, Please” and “Walang Forever” ; “The Revengers Squad” with Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and Pia Wurtzbach; “Ang Panday” with Coco Martin and Mariel de Leon; and “Meant to Beh” with Vic Sotto, Dawn Zulueta, Andrea Torres, Sue Ramirez, JC Santos, Daniel Matsunaga, Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia.