Seventh Moon (2008)HD Closed Captioning
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According to Chinese myth, the dead are freed to walk among the living during the seventh full moon. Melissa and Yul, two Americans honeymooning in China, enjoy the exotic 'Hungry Ghost' festival that honors these spirits. But as night falls, they find themselves abandoned in a remote village and soon realize the legend is all too real. Plunged into an ancient custom they cannot comprehend, the couple must find a way to survive the night of the "Seventh Moon."
NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT
This movie starts off well and immediately got me into it with its original premise: A beautiful white American woman and her Chinese-American husband are on vacation in China. (Already breaking sterotypes; I like it!) The characters are believable and likeable, everything is shot on location in China, and the whole thing feels very real. They are stranded in the countryside at night, where they discover that they are sacrificial lambs for the "hungry ghosts" of Chinese folklore. The writing is good, the dialogue naturalistic, and I really got into it.
That said, keep in mind this is from the writer-director of "The Blair Witch Project," and "Seventh Moon" follows in a similar style. The whole thing is shot on video, and it doesn't even look like professional HD video... Just looks like it was shot on a few camcorders bought at Radio Shack. Sometimes this effect works really well... Sometimes not. Most of the movie takes place at night, with almost no light, and shaky cameras. The downside to this is you can barely even see what's going on, and what you can see is dark, grainy, pixelated and shaky. The times this technique works well is with the ghosts.
Mike Elizalde did a phenomenal job on the make-up FX (as always), and with the way it's filmed, you can barely ever see them... Which is good! It's good to tease the audience and not really show the monsters in a horror movie, until the end. In this, it's so dark, you almost never see them, and when you do, they're out of focus, or running past, or you just see their hands... Very effective. However, there are quite a few moments where I wished they had just LIT the scene and shot it so we can see better, shot it with some artistic style... Not just run around in the dark with video cameras, cutting dark, blurry images together in a flashy, "MTV style."
Anyway, I'm honored to be the first to review this movie. Not bad at all, although I'd rather watch this on a nice big screen than my computer screen or iPod. Maybe the picture quality would be better then...? Judge for yourself, but of course if you disagree with me, you're inherantly wrong... (:
Doesn't make try to make a statement, isn't political, isn't painful to watch... good old fashion scare with great use of makeup and tension/release.
wanted to like it more
The first third is a good setup and some nice scary moments in the second (and though all horror movies depend on some stupidity by the participants, our protagonists are remarkably dumb in their decision-making). The movie literally boxes itself into a corner though and when it escapes that predicament, the last third just takes a bizarre turn (and more truly idiotic decisions). I'm still not sure what happened at the candle temple or how we ended up there, but oh well. The finale is nicely sad and creepy.
The filmmaker creates some great scares in spots and the overall feel is truly tense at times, but in the end the plot just seems to tumble forward aimlessly. I've never seen a car so misused plot-wise in a movie; for me it brought unintended humor. The acting was pretty good, though, even if it is always bemusing how movies have couples squabble (and have sex) at the most bizarre times.
There might be a nice sequel here called Dinner with Nana, if only to see how things get explained.