A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) 1h 38min | Action, Fantasy, Horror | 18 July 1987 (Hong Kong) Summary: After a string of bad luck, a debt collector has no other choice than to spend the night in a haunted temple, where he encounters a ravishing female ghost and later battles to save her soul from the control of a wicked tree demon.
Countries: Hong KongLanguages: Cantonese

My husband pays attention to me.

Yes, I can hear you all thinking, that’s a lovely sentiment, but what the heck has it got to do with movie notes? Far less, notes about this specific movie? Because he has not failed to notice how much I enjoy Chinese genre movies, he has curated some that I haven’t yet seen onto a new watchlist. And right here at number one, this movie.

I think that he finds it a touch harder to suspend disbelief than I do sometimes, and this genre can have some very unexpected twists indeed. I’m not sure he will ever get over the utter surprise of the magic bird in Little Dragon Maiden any time soon. I must confess, I also enjoy watching movies when they make him exclaim out loud. And this one got him right at the beginning, when throughout the opening credits we follow a young man who seems bereft of luck. He is caught in the rain. Overheated by the sun. Hassled by bandits. And at some point during all this, my darling spouse turned to me with a grim expression of inevitability, and said with some resignation… “this is going to be our hero, isn’t it?”

And it was. Our slightly inept yet sincere hero brings a levity to a story that could otherwise be quite by the numbers: an abandoned temple, the restless spirit of a beautiful young woman, a monk battling evil with the power of the Buddha. The pace is steady, and if sometimes the humor is a tad infantile, it can be overlooked easily enough, The story and conclusion hit some familiar beats but still does its own thing too.

I really enjoyed this. Can’t wait to see what’s next on his list!

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