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According to an ancient Chinese myth on the full moon of the seventh lunar month the gates of hell open and the dead are freed to roam among the living. While honeymooning in China, a young couple takes part in a sacred event that honors these spirits. As night falls, their tour guide abandons them in a desolate field. Now what they thought was a joke is becoming far too real as they fight to survive the night of the SEVENTH MOON.
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The first half of the film we find out our couple are on their honeymoon in China. The husband's family was/is of Chinese ancestry and he has various family still there. During their time there, a festival of the seventh moon is occurring in which superstition says that the dead are freed from hell on the seventh full moon of the year. As with our Halloween, this festival is a bit similar though more a fair/carnival feel. Anyways, after their fun in the city they head out with their tour guide to the rural section of China to visit the husband's relatives. The trip takes much longer than expected and by the time the tour guide gets lost, it is already dark as night and out in the farms/hills of rolling China, there are no street lights. Eventually they come to a darkened village and the tour guide decides to go ask one of the town folk where they are. This is the beginning of the setup for our movie.
So far so good, right? Well, unfortunately problems begin on three levels. The first and foremost is the camera. The entire film is filmed with a shakey-cam which can sometimes work (see Mulberry Street, Blair Witch, Cloverfield, etc.) but here it is horrible. And there is a reason! Because of the second major problem of this film: night filming. The entire film is in complete darkness. We do not have the filmed at dusk and then digitally darkening the film. Nor do we have night filming with backlighting. It is supposed to be full moon and yet still, no light. With a shaky cam and complete darkness, it is disorienting and terribly hard to follow a lot of the film. This really ruined the enjoyment factor of the film for me.
The third and final fault was the last third of the screenplay. It was not written well at all and we get some sequences that may or may not be dream sequences, that end up causing almost as much confusion for the viewer as the darkness/shakey-cam, and bring complete hault to what was a very suspenseful and action oriented mystery-horror flick.
Though the camera and darkness ruined a lot of the enjoyment, the story was pretty good and had its shocks and scares. The rural part of China and the items used to make suspense worked unbelievabley well ("what was that in the street", a gong like windchime (similar to a church bell), animals crying in the darkness, etc.) But then this grinding halt in the screenplay and what turned out to be a somewhat sappy ending made this film simply mediocre. I really wanted to love this film but unfortunately I only enjoyed it. Is it worth seeing, sure, but don't get your hopes up. Enjoy it for what it is: a technically flawed film with a mediocre third act that had a lot of promise in its rolling hills and its rural village in a far away land, a supernatural occurrance, no where to run/hide, and a nightmare of a night for a young American couple.
The story takes place in China, where a couple is spending their honeymoon together. They hear about a cultural practice and learn about what happens during the full moon of the seventh lunar month. They are told that the dead are free to roam the Earth on this day and sacrifices must be made to please the spirits. This holiday is actually culturally correct. It is called "The Ghost Festival" and occurs on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month in China. This celebration is also known as "Ghost Day" and citizens of China actually believe that their deceased relatives are free to return to Earth for this one day, much like the Mexican tradition known as "Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)". This film builds upon that concept of the dead returning, but elaborates into also suggesting that demons are free to roam the Earth as well.
Focusing on the newly wed couple, the film depicts how desperate the two become when face to face with the moon demons. It seems as if everywhere the couple turns, the demons are close behind, and with none of the locals willing to lend a helping hand, the couple must fight for survival on their own. The story progresses from a large city to a small field and ends at a cemetery/monastery building. The wide variety of scenery is well done and the acting is top notch, allowing you to feel the terror that the people feel when being attacked by "Moon Demons".
During the first 20 minutes of the film, I was not able to view anything. Initially, I found the image was too dark, seeing how the majority of the filming was done in complete darkness, thus not allowing the audience to view the action, or even the actors on screen. I solved this problem by switching my TV's contrast to a more optimal setting and was able to see everything 100%. Once this problem was corrected, I simply restarted the film using the brighter screen resolution, and the film was much easier to view, and was much more enjoyable as well. So, with that problem solved I was able to fully enjoy watching the film and must say that I really enjoyed it once I was able to actually view it.
The story was great, the thrills were decent, and the acting and environment was spectacular. If you are a fan of horror films I believe you will enjoy this movie, just make sure you change your TVs viewing settings to a preset contrast with brighter resolution and you'll be fine.
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