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The Matrimony (2007)
"Xin zhong you gui" (original title)

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A woman finds the key to a room in the attic that her husband forbids her from entering. When she opens the door, she is confronted with the haunting existence of the woman her husband refuses to forget.

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The Matrimony
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Xu Manli
...
Shen Junchu
Rene Liu ...
Songzi Xu ...
Rong Ma
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Storyline

A woman finds the key to a room in the attic that her husband forbids her from entering. When she opens the door, she is confronted with the haunting existence of the woman her husband refuses to forget.

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How far will you go for the one you love...

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Drama | Horror | Thriller

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Release Date:

February 2007 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Matrimony  »

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$2,500,000 (estimated)
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Love
Written by Norman Orenstein
Courtesy of Norman Orenstein Music
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User Reviews

A Thrilling, Intensely Creative Ghost Story from China
11 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

MATRIMONY ('Xin zhong you gui') is a 2007 artistically satisfying film from China, a suspenseful ghost story written by Qianling Yang and Jialu Zhang and directed with distinction by Hua-Tao Teng. It is in Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles. The cover for this DVD does not do the film justice in that it suggests a story in the category of body dismemberment like the tiresome 'Saw' movies. This film is instead an old-fashioned ghost story more Henry James than James Wan/Leigh Whannell. It is a beautifully photographed (Ping Bin Lee), richly colorful atmospheric love story gone wrong.

The film opens with a lady relating a drama in front of a microphone at a radio station (the time frame is supposedly the 1930s). The scene switches to downtown where Shen Junchu (Chinese heartthrob Leon Lai) waits one the street until he spies his beautiful girlfriend Xu Manli (the very beautiful Bingbing Fan) riding on her bicycle towards him. Obviously both are excited to see each other and Manli drives into traffic and is killed; the shocked Junchu drops the little gift he had for Manli - an engagement ring. In the next scene we find the hardened sad Junchu in his home, having been forced by his mother Rong Ma (Songzi Xu) to marry the girl Sansan (Rene Liu) to assuage his devastation over his loss of Manli: Juncho merely tolerates Sansan and forbids her to enter the attic where he has stored all of Manli's earthly belongings. In her despair Sansan finds a key to the attic, enters it and discovers the ghost of Manli. A pact is made whereby Manli will assume the body of Sansan. From this point on the story develops as a clash between Junchu gradually accepting Sansan and slowly the ghost of Manli reveals herself and now in the corporal status of Sansun she appears to Juncho - but is it too late, and how will the transfigured ghost of Manli secure her position in Junchu's life? The ending is very smart and reminds the view of the old Guy de Maupassant short stories, known for their unique surprise endings.

The story is told with Gothic finesse accompanied by a delicate musical score by Sin-yun Lee and Norman Orenstein. The acting is splendid and the special effects (the smoky apparition of the ghost of Manli is beautifully managed) are first class. This is a film rich in cinematic creativity and a story that is just off-kilter enough to be a frightening ghost tale without the excesses that we have grown used to seeing in recent horror films. Highly Recommended.

Grady Harp


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