Haunted Forest: Where did it Fail?

Regal Entertainment Incorporated’s–‘Haunted Forest’, its entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 (MMFF) is a horror flick as it was described by its writer Jeps Gallon, but is not the typical jump-scare movie according to its director Ian Loreños.

But judging from how it went it was just a slightly-shocking-sometimes and mind-boggling film headed by four young stars–Jane Oineza, Jameson Blake, Maris Racal and Jon Lucas as the lead cast.

Its story revolves around the father and daughter strained relationship portrayed by Raymart Santiago and Oineza sa Aris and Nica, respectively. Both had to go to the province as Aris works on a mysterious case and tries to win back his daughter after the death of his wife and mother of Nica.

The Creature ‘Sitsit’ is a Novel Attempt.

Though, there were some who tried to contest that its concept is no longer new since a similiar film of the same title–‘Haunted Forest’ was released in 2007–the introduction of the creature ‘Sitsit’ sounded very Filipino and original.

It can very well be considered as ‘novel’.

But as the story progresses, the said creature that has its domain in the heart of the forest and feeds its energy from virgin women. Having in mind that Regal popularized horror and suspense-thriller creatures–the likes of ‘Tiyanak’ and ‘Undin’ as created by the Peque Gallage-Lore Reyes tandem back then; there is such expectations that ‘Sitsit’ would be as exciting and scary as the first two.

Unfortunately, it failed. It was like a spinoff from a J.R.R. Tolkien’s character–‘Gollum’; the only difference is that–‘Sitsit’ is much bigger and more human in size. ‘Sitsit’ has to be Improved.

‘Sitsit’ has to be Improved.

In the film, it was not very clear how the creature came to exist and how powerful it can be when provoked.

The question is-what are the qualities of Nica to gedt rid of the said creature. Why is it that she took on the task easily after his father got killed by the creature and was helped by an old man named who had once a daughter that was the craeture’s prey. He knew all the while how to defeat the creature by burning its domain, then why did he wait for Nica and her friends to join him in eradicating the creature?

And in the film’s conclusion, the creature was able to escape the burning of his domain. It seems that a sequel is in the offing.

Hoping that if it would happen, it will be a better version of ‘Sitsit’.

A Better and Engaging Cast is Needed.

Let’s face it–Raymart may have been around for quite sometime, but his acting hasn’t really improved. His facial expression is not even convincing enough to be the father of Nica (Oineza). Frankly, the pain and the emotions required between them as father and daughter is no where to be found; as if those were lost in the middle of a haunted forest as well.

It looks like when a sequel is possible; the young stars in the film will return and expect a much boring acting from these bunch.

Here’s hoping that Gallon and Loreños are able to push the envelope further in terms of motivating these young artists to be believable enough for the audience to be scared.

Predicted to be one of the highest earners this MMFF 2017, ‘Haunted Forest’ is still showing in cinemas nationwide till January 7.

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Haunted Forest20 jameson blake55 Jane Oineza74 Jon Lucas33 Maris Racal100 Metro Manila Film Festival106 MMFF 201791 Movie Review35 Raymart Santiago38