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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Debutantes” Debuts a Very Familiar Horror Setting…and Nothing More

Under Regal Entertainment (Regal Films), the home of horror flicks, it has recently released The Debutantes, the film debut of one of the freshest faces today, Sue Ramirez. The story follows Kate (Sue Ramirez), an outcast girl who is notable for her bangs and taciturn persona. All she wants is being socially accepted especially by  the likes of Lara (Miles Ocampo), Jenny (Jane de Leon), Canice (Michelle Vito), and Shayne (Chanel Morales)—the ‘It’ Girls’ who enjoy fame and class. Out of a trap on an 18’th celebration (the debut), Kate faces the unwanted humiliation as the party turns into a bully over her scars on the back. This scenario feels familiar, like the film, Carrie, except the blood and the guy.

While the ensemble cast may play a ‘huge turnout’, Director Prime Cruz misses the elements of the horror movies that can be seen anywhere and have been watched a zillion times.


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MISSING MISFIRE

When the curse starts to glow in the dark, all you have to do is Guess and Pick. The means of killing could not live up to the atmosphere of fear and terror. Maybe, it’s because the MTRCB rating is PG that’s why there are no gory moments. You’d be shocked by the pop corns popping out next to you as the sound effects would try to build tension all over your body. It’s just that what you see is not that scary at all.

ALMOST IS NOT ENOUGH

An hour and a half running time is spent fast. The pace is direct. The Debutantes deserves a credit for molding a mystique of plain horror. It doesn’t come with a mawkish, distracting flavor (corny romance) that leads to the design of the script to talk about bullying and death. Sue Ramirez does her best share of the role. There are moments when she expresses much by her countenance. Minus the originality of the story line, it tackles the challenge that Philippine Films must not cross-genre to focus on the single sphere of the main plot.

OVERALL

The attempt to sustain the horror feeling failed because the story lacks the fluidity to bring spine-chilling scenes that should be offered by original stories or newfangled concepts rather than the bloody girl or shadowy figures out of nowhere. It remains a challenge for Filipino writers to come up with new story line and dark tones without cutting and paste or mix and match from other films.

As the title of the film denotes-The Debutantes, it is almost a debut of a horror flick in the Philippine cinema.

Rating: 5.5 /10

Writer: Eugene Libres is a horror fanatic, a press release writer by profession.

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