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A couple returns to North America for a family funeral, having lived in Shanghai, China for the previous six years. Soon after they arrive, their son Jamie begins to see ghosts and suffer possession by one of the living dead, and it all ties in with the Chinese festival of Ghost Month, when the doors of hell supposedly open and angry spirits are given the chance to terrorize the living. Written by
After the release of Japan's "Ringu", Eastern horror became extremely popular in the west and lead to a series of remakes including "The Grudge" and "The Ring". "They Wait" isn't a remake of an existing Eastern horror but an original production in which an American mother (played by Jaime King) and her six year old son find themselves facing the ghosts of the Chinese community into which they have arrived from Shanghai. Although it may not be based on a Japanese or Chinese horror movie, "They Wait" unfortunately comes across like a compilation of greatest hits from such productions.
There's one very good scare quite early in the movie but, once this is over, everything else comes across as quite tame. "They Wait" also unfortunately employs some terrible CGI effects in places. Some of the ghosts (especially those seen before the titles roll) look like something from a Playstation game! This is quite surprising as the rest of the movie looks to have had quite a bit of money thrown at it and director Ernie Barbarash (who also directed "Cube: Zero") knows how to make his movie look extremely polished.
The lead performances are all very good (Ms King, in particular, proves to be a strong center for the story) but the plot is quite uninspired. You'll quickly guess what's going on and who is responsible, and the way in which things are resolved also leaves a lot to be desired. But is it a bad movie? No, not at all. If you catch it on television late at night, you'll probably be perfectly entertained throughout its running time and enjoy something that has many charms amongst its faults. If you pay money to rent it out, however, you might feel you've wasted money on something that seems incredibly similar to so many other movies.
At the time of writing, this movie has a 3.8 score on IMDb which is, in my opinion, completely unjustified. I've seen a few movies deserving of a score like that and this movie certainly isn't one of them! I can guess at the reason for this, and that reason would be the presence of a certain Uwe Boll who most movie fans will know as the director of a growing library of terrible movies (Alone In The Dark, In The Name Of The King, Bloodrayne etc). However, it's worth pointing out that Uwe Boll was simply the producer here. He didn't write this movie and he certainly didn't direct it!
In summary then, "They Wait" is an inoffensive horror movie which works nicely as a late night time-waster but not much more.
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