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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.

Dec 29, 2017

Why Mother Lily Monteverde Of Regal Is The Big Winner In The MMFF For Her Horror Entry, 'Haunted Forest'

MOTHER LILY MONTEVERDE of Regal Entertainment is the big winner in the current filmfest.Her entry, “Haunted Forest”, is reportedly now occupying the third slot in the list of topgrossers, proof that you can never go wrong when you are the only horror entry in the festival. It quickly showed its strength at the box office on its opening day on Christmas Day and attendance continues to go up since then.

In terms of return on investment, she’ll be the one who’d make the biggest profit because “Haunted Forest” has a relatively smaller budget compared to those of “Gandarapido” and “Panday” that spent so much on their big name stars and their special effects. In contrast, “Haunted Forest” has only four relatively unknown stars of Star Magic as the leads: Jane Oineza, Jameson Blake, Maris Racal and Jon Lucas. All of them also have no proven box office clout.

Another plus factor is that the movie works as a horror flick as viewers are really screaming their hearts during each screening. The feedback in social media is generally positive, with viewers recommending it for their friends to watch it also. Its director, former indie filmmaker Ian Lorenos, failed to make it last year with his “Mano Po 7” entry but this time, he’s really back with a vengeance at the tills. We won’t be surprised if Regal would now give him more projects to direct in 2018 now that he has proven that he has a good box office touch.

We also won’t be surprised if more theaters would be added to the current list of cinemas now showing “Haunted Forest”. Congratulations to Regal, Mother Lily Monteverde and daughter Roselle, and Direk Ian! And don’t leave the theatre right away after the end credits are flashed as there is a short preview of what will happen next.

It seems that the creature (played by Anthony Falcon) was not really killed but is seen cruising down a river on a bamboo raft. So don’t be surprised if this “Haunted” thing will turn into a franchise. After “Haunted Mansion and Forest”, we’ll next have “Haunted River” and probably, “Haunted Mountain”, “Haunted Village” and “Haunted Filmfest” (with the bitter indie filmmakers of last year haunting the screening committee who brought back mainstream films this year.)