Haunted Mansion (formerly Retreat House and originally titled as Rest House) is a 2015 Filipino supernatural, horror film directed and written by Jun Lana, starring Janella Salvador, Marlo Mortel, Jerome Ponce, Janice de Belen and Iza Calzado. This is the debut film of Janella Salvador after their successful stints on television. It is an official entry to the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival. It was released on December 25, 2015.
The film follows a group of high school kids who are spending the night in a retreat house.When they learn that the retreat house is haunted, they set out to look for the ghosts just for fun, but find out soon enough that the urban legends are real. The film was a box office success earning ₱140 million in 3 three weeks of showing.The film received generally positive reviews from film critics praising its cinematography,visual effects, production design and musical score. The film’s cast was also praised for its good performances.
3 Production 3.1 Pre-production
3.4 Creepy experiences on the set
3.5 Post production
4 Release 4.1 Marketing
5 Reception 5.1 Box office
5.2 Critical reception 5.2.1 Special screening
5.2.2 Official release
After a student retreat, a young student (Juan Miguel Salvado) was alarmed by the agonizing screams of his teacher (Mara Lopez). He investigates it and goes inside a big mansion. He was terrorized by the ghosts of a man burned to death and a woman in black before bumping into the body of his teacher. He screamed in terror.
In a high school in Manila, Ella (Janella Salvador), an ordinary girl who has the ability to see ghosts, was with her exuberant best friend Faye (Sharlene San Pedro) and their classmate Adrian (Marlo Mortel), who harbors romantic feelings for Ella. Ella confesses to the two that she will not be able to attend their school retreat due to financial problems. Adrian offers to pay for her registration but Ella kindly rejects his offer. After P.E. class, Ella was haunted by the ghost of a girl (Andrea Bersamin) in the locker room before being made fun off by three clique students: Megan (Ingrid dela Paz), Jessie (Eliza Pineda) and Allison (Devon Seron). The next day, during a Chemistry class, Jacob (Jerome Ponce), a handsome guy whom Megan has her eye on but likes Ella, was asked by her and her friends to give Ella a box of chocolates. Unbeknownst to Jacob and Ella, it was full of cockroaches. Jacob scolds Megan and her friends. Jacob’s friends Steve (Paolo Gumabao), and Jack (Phytos Ramirez), who has a relationship with Jessie, laughed at the prank.
At home, Ella’s mother (Lilet), notices Ella’s sad behavior. She gave her money to join the retreat and Ella reluctantly accepted. Ella meets with Faye and her schoolmates on the day of the retreat. The class was accompanied by their teachers Ms. Gonzalez (Janice De Belen) and Ms. Taas (Sue Prado) and a school priest Father Anthony (Dominic Ochoa) to a mansion on the province. They were greeted by caretakers Manang Selya (Vangie Labalan) and Mang Anding (Archie Adamos). Manang Selya explained to everyone that the mansion was owned by a rich woman named Donya Amara (Iza Calzado), who passed away years and years ago. One night, while Ella was sleeping, she has a dream about a woman in black committing suicide by hanging herself. Morning came and during an activity, Ella asked Manang Selya about the woman in the photo, whom she recognized was the woman in black in her dream. Manang Selya explained that she was Veronica (LJ Reyes), Amara’s younger sister who committed suicide because of shame from being raped by the mansion gardener Jaime (Joem Bascon). Jaime was then burned to death by people close to the family. That night, Ella, Faye and Adrian were terrorized by whom they though was a ghost, only for them to find out that it was another prank pulled by Megan and her cronies. Jacob was woken up by the screams and attempted to settle things down. Adrian however rebuffed his concerns and blamed him to be a part of the prank. He also revealed that he overheard a conversation between Steve, Jack and Jacob that he only “likes” Ella to make Megan jealous. The group then ensued into a violent fight which was stopped by an angry Ms. Gonzalez and Ms. Taas. As their punishment, the group was not allowed to attend the remaining activities in the retreat and instead was made to clean the whole vicinity. The next night, Ella was haunted by the ghost of Jaime and ended up fainting in fright. Thinking it was another prank pulled by Megan, Ms. Gonzalez and the others made the group stay for another day in the mansion to work out their differences while their classmates and Ms. Taas went home ahead as a huge storm was on its way. Ella then confessed to Adrian that she has the ability to see ghosts and when she was younger, caused her father to be killed, to which she blamed herself for. That night, while Ms. Gonzalez, Father Anthony and the caretakers were asleep, Megan, Jessie, Allison, Jack and Steve decided to hunt ghosts, Jacob, Ella, Adrian and Faye warned them not to but they continued. They decided to leave Megan’s cellphone plugged in a battery pack in the confessional in hopes that they will record The Black Lady’s (Veronica) voice. Morning came and there was a blackout, the storm was still blowing hard and water began to enter the mansion. That night, Steve remembered Megan’s phone and asked if she has already retrieved it. He goes to get it alone while the others were fixing candles and putting buckets in leaking areas. Father Anthony noticed Allison, Steve and Jack’s disappearance and Jessie volunteered to look for them. A chandelier suddenly dropped on the floor and injured Father Anthony’s legs rendering him immobile. On the confessional, Steve retrieved Megan’s phone and decided to listen if there were voices recorded. He listened to the recording and was frightened when Jaime’s ghost appeared pointing at something. He tried to escape but was caught by another violent ghost. His tongue was then severed and he was killed. Jessie found Jack who was revealed to be cheating on her with Allison. Jessie ran away but bumped into Steve’s dead body. They carried Steve’s body to the others. They found Megan’s phone in his pocket and Ms. Gonzalez decided to call for help. Faye and Jacob accompanied her. While making the call, Ms. Gonzalez accidentally listened to Victoria’s voice recording and Jaime appeared pointing at something. Ms. Gonzalez suffered from an asthma attack and ordered Jacob to grab her inhaler. Faye stayed with Ms. Gonzalez and decided to listen to the voice recording as well. Jaime appeared once again pointing at something. Suddenly, the ghost who killed Steve appeared and threw Faye and Ms. Gonzalez to a wall injuring them severely. Ella and the others heard Faye’s and Ms. Gonzalez’s screams and when they ran to help them, they saw Faye and Ms. Gonzalez dead with their tongues ripped out. Jacob told everybody that he saw Ms. Gonzalez freaking out over something she heard from the phone. Father Anthony told them to listen to the recorded message as they might learn something about the killings. Everyone listened.
It was Veronica’s confession. She stated that she committed suicide not because Jaime raped her. Jaime and Victoria were actually lovers but Amara did not approve of their love as she had feelings for Jaime also. Amara, who practiced witchcraft, made everyone believe that Jaime raped her sister. She ordered the people to burn Jaime alive. This led to Veronica committing suicide as she lost the love of her life. Eventually, Amara died too.
Ella then realized that Amara was the real killer. Everyone who heard Victoria’s confession will be killed by Amara because she did not want anybody to know the truth. Megan then concluded that everyone heard the voice note so everyone will die. Suddenly Jaime’s ghost appeared and pointed at Amara’s ghost approaching them. Ella, Adrian and Jacob carried Father Anthony to safety. Megan, Jack, Jessie and Allison went out of the mansion. Manang Selya and Mang Anding were then killed by Amara when they were blasted through a glass door and were impaled by shards. Father Anthony asked the three to leave him behind stating that the Lord is with him no matter what. They reluctantly leave him and Father Anthony was also killed by Amara. Megan and the others decided to cross the flooded area outside the mansion. Suddenly, Allison is pulled down to the water and was killed. Jack and Jessie noticed her disappearance but before they could warn Megan, both of them were also pulled down and killed. Megan realized she was all alone. Suddenly, Amara rose up from the water feasting on the tongues of her three friends. Megan attempted to get to safety but was also killed.The three remaining friends hid. Adrian then convinced Ella to use her abilities to ask help from Veronica and Jaime. She was able to ask the pair what to do and Veronica instructed her to destroy Amara’s corpse before she takes human form. Amara’s corpse, which was buried at the back of the house along with Veronica, was excavated by the three. Before Jacob could destroy the corpse, Amara appeared and captured him. Jacob was badly injured and asked Ella and Adrian to leave him. Jacob was then killed by Amara when she threw him into the air and allowing to plummet to his death. While on the run, Adrian was pulled down to the earth by the rotting hands of Amara, also killing him, leaving Ella all alone. She runs to the chapel and was confronted by Amara’s ghost. Ella took a crucifix and stabbed Amara in the mouth taking out her tongue. Ella was blasted backwards injuring her head.
Sometime later, Ella was then seen with her mom and was greeted by her younger siblings. It turned out that Ella suffered from amnesia caused by the head injury as she did not recognize them at all. Ella’s mother told her not to worry as her memory will be back some time. Three months later, Ella woke up in her home to find out that her memory has come back. Suddenly, Amara appeared indicating she was still out to kill Ella. They ensued into a game of cat and mouse. Ella was fatally injured but was determined to finish it once and for all. She wrapped a rosary around Amara and her ghost burst into flames. Ella fell unconscious to the floor. The camera pans up to her as she opened her eyes once more and the screen cuts to black.