Monday, October 5, 2009

Seventh Moon (2008)

You know how sometimes there's a product that really grabs your interest but no matter how hard you try it doesn't seem possible to get your hands on it? You obsess about it a little, build your own mythology the product can never possibly match. You know this deep down but it doesn't stop you. Seventh Moon was one of these things. By all reports a good horror film, the details were sketchy but included some of my favourite movie aspects like handheld cameras (a la REC or Cloverfield), demons, gore and hot women. The trailer..well see for yourself.

Looked like hot larb to me and the kicker was how difficult it was to find anywhere showing it. In the meantime it became my golden movie; something other people raved about, containing all my favourite elements and elusive in its existence. Then, I came across a copy. I should have known better.

Don't get me wrong, Seventh Moon is an okay flick. Set in China on the seventh full moon of the year, the story revolves around an old mythology and the festival associated with it. Every seventh moon, ghosts arise and seek flesh - any flesh. In the cities this isn't a problem but out in the countryside people take the myths very seriously, leaving live animals outside their houses so the ghost's hunger can be satiated.

Into this stumble the idiot Americans; Melissa (Amy Smart) and Yul (Tim Chiou).

Amy Smart, though not in this movie.
Amy Smart, though not in this movie.
The newly wed couple are on their honeymoon when the tour guide driving their car wanders off in the dead of night leaving them alone in the dark. They proceed to stumble about rural China, encountering another luckless man (in a robe) caught out in the open as well as a bunch of ghosts. The ghosts are kind of disappointing as they're naked extras painted up white. So anyways, the trio bumble about in the dark for a while longer until the man decides he'll be better off alone and knocks Yul out. This seemed like a great plan to me, leave the whiny American of Chinese extraction as bait and do a runner in your bathrobe (or whatever the guy was wearing, some white robe thing). The plan goes awry and robe man is forced to run from the ghosts, though in the end they catch and presumably eat him. I say presume because the last we see of robe man is the ghosts dragging him into the long grass. This brings me to another point of unhappiness, the gore. There is none unless I was watching some cut down PG version. Sigh.

Following some more running about, the honeymooning couple are lured into a mansion filled with creepy people holding candles and told they'd be safe there. An odd woman gives them something to drink, which they both go ahead and drink without a second thought, and next you know they've stripped off for sexyness and sex in front of a bunch of weirdos. Cut to them dressed in white robes, outside, locked in bamboo cages. Surprise! Every year the village lures outsiders as the ultimate sacrifice so none of their neighbours are taken. Brilliant! Obviously robe man from earlier in the movie was their original sacrifice, yet somehow he escaped.  Moving right along, the ghosts take Yul away for killing and leave Melissa to be sexy another day. Instead however, she hunts down the ghost's secret lair (this is a genuinely creepy scene) only to find Yul on the brink of death, his blood being drained away so he can die then arise as a ghost himself. Cue escape. The end.

Aside from the average story, dodgy SFX and lack of gore there was no shaky first person camera work. Is this the same movie I read about? The camera was shaken around sometimes but never was it done in a way to suggest that first person, live and unedited experience. A disappointment for me, but others will disagree I'm sure. Enjoying shaky camera work puts me in a select group of people who can handle it without feleing sick and appreciate the premise that less is sometime more. This premise does not apply when considering gore or naked female bodies.

Seventh Moon was an okay horror movie but it broke my heart and for that I give it 6/10.

As an aside, I watched Return of the Living Dead last night and it was pretty good. Two thumbs up for the chick who spent half the movie naked though wearing a flesh-colored prosthetic over her hoo-ha.

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING - Dancing naked in a graveyard may cause your genitals to dissapear.
SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING - Dancing naked in a graveyard may cause your genitals to disappear.

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