Seventh Moon (2008) Poster

(2008)

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5/10
A Mediocre Supernatural/Horror Movie – or "What's the Point"
MrHarley18 October 2009
When this movie came out, I was genuinely hopeful. The concept of hungry ghosts is a central part of the tradition of Chinese Ancestor Worship, and had great potential for an excellent movie melding the supernatural and horror. The script writers even set it during an actual event in the Chinese year, a festival sharing much in common with the true traditions of All Hallows Eve. Unfortunately, that is as far as it went.

The film does not make the error that many movies make substituting gore for horror. There is enough blood to add to the suspense, and increase the tension that is central to this kind of movie. The script is serviceable. The protagonists never engage in the typical "how could they be so stupid" stereotypes of a true horror film. Their actions, at times foolish, were consistent with their characters as urban Americans enjoying their honeymoon in an exotic land. The actions of the other characters in the film are similarly plausible.

The problem is that the movie never really comes together. You vaguely like the young couple, and that's about it. You respect the actions of the only other real player in the movie towards the end, but I doubt he even has a total of ten minutes of screen time. The monsters are scary, and appropriately monstrous. None of this is the makings of great cinema.

My wife, upon the conclusion of the movie, asked me "What's the Point?" She meant it rhetorically, because we both had no trouble understanding what was going on during the movie. Yet that comment sums up succinctly my own reaction upon watching it. It wasn't a waste of 87 minutes of my life, and since the rental was free I don't feel ripped off. It's just very sad when this had the potential to be a very good movie.
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5/10
A good concept, but a bit of a mess
Heislegend20 November 2009
I didn't know what to expect going into this. To be honest I had it in the back of my head that it would be just one more crappy Asian-style ghost story about some girl with long black hair. Luckily it was not, but it's still certainly not without it's faults.

OK, well to be fair this is *kind of* an Asian ghost story, but not the kind done to death since about 2000. It's based on the Chinese myth that under the full moon in the seventh month of the lunar year the dead can cross over to the land of the living. Fair enough...just like Halloween in some countries. But these things aren't some wussy little ghost...they're more like humanoid demons. So it scores some cool points for concept. Now for the bad news...

I'm not normally one to pick on technical aspects of a movie, but there are some pretty major problems here. First is the lighting, or rather the lack of it. Many parts of this movie are so dark that it's not even scary. You have no clue what's going on because you can't see a damn thing. And then there's the camera work. A good part of this is filmed with that shaky handicam. While that's something I'd expect from some fake documentary-style film (it's still annoying even then, but it's a bit more understandable), it's just about unacceptable to use it this much in a film like this. I suppose someone thought it would give a sense of terror or something to the movie. They were wrong. So basically you're left with a seemingly cool premise all but ruined by someone's attempt to make the film something that it wasn't. Truth be told, that kind of sucks. But in the end it's not too bad.
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4/10
No Ancient Chinese Secret
Greg31 October 2009
Part of the Ghost House Underground DVD series, Seventh Moon is based on the Chinese legend that on the full moon of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the dead can enter the realm of the living.

The film opens in China where we are introduced to newlyweds Melissa and Yul (Amy Smart and Chiou) as they walk the streets of China acting as regular and normal as any tourist – taking in the culture and enjoying the ethnical differences.

When Melissa and Yul are left by their guide, Ping, in a remote ancient village, their night of terror takes them through puzzling occurrences and face to face with some ghastly creatures.

As with most horrors, the tension and the events that lead to eventual terror takes time to build. It starts with their car being splattered with blood while the couple were investigating outside of the village. Smartly, the couple don't' try and stay to figure out why they were targeted. Instead, they get in their car and try and hi-tail it out of dodge. But when a mysterious figure runs in front of their vehicle driving them off the road, Amy and Yul are soon on foot trying to evade the deadly beings that are in pursuit.

Seventh Moon is directed by Eduardo Sánchez who directed The Blair Witch Project in 1999 and the under appreciated Altered in 2006. Sánchez emulates his Blair Witch debut by shooting Seventh Moon with hand-held cameras and quick edits. This can get awfully annoying if you are not in the mood for unsteady camera work.

Although the atmosphere and the intense mood of the film gets high marks, the film fails by not offering anything new to the genre. Spooky as it was at times, the shaky camera doesn't allow the audience to get to know the characters as well as a steady-cam. It is bad enough that the setting all takes place at night where visibility is poor to begin with. Couple the setting with the constant shaking and un-centered camera efforts, and there isn't any time for emotional investment amongst all the other distractions to care whether the two leads live or die.

The first half being watchable and the second half evoking a 'please-hurry-I-have-things-to-do' response, Seventh Moon (which copied way too much from The Descent) is just average. And in this genre, that just doesn't cut it.

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7/10
Good movie
MattJaa3 October 2009
Despite reading a couple of bad reviews I decided to give this movie a try and I'm glad I did. Some people may feel that the effects weren't terribly good but they didn't need to be; this movie was more about suspense. It's not a slasher movie, it's a movie with a story. It was definitely worth the watch. I was on the edge of my seat a several times, it was quite suspenseful and that's what I like in a scary movie. The acting needs some work but it wasn't so distracting that it took away from the story. There were a couple of times that left me scratching my head in confusion but overall a good movie. Give it a shot, not a bad way to spend an hour and a half.
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4/10
Hellish Honeymoon
Claudio Carvalho31 August 2010
In accordance with the Chinese Myth, on the full moon of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the spirits of the dead are freed to roam among the living.

Melissa (Amy Smart) and her husband Yul (Tim Chiou) are spending their honeymoon in the month of the ghosts in China, where they intend to visit his relatives. They participate in the Senwun (Ghost Festival) during the day, where they drink a lot of booze, and their driver Ping (Dennis Chan) heads to Anxian when the nights falls. A couple of hours later, Ping parks his car and tells that he is lost. He asks the couple to wait for him in his car while he asks for directions in a small village in the countryside. One hour later, Melissa and Yul decide to seek out Ping in the village, and they see the houses closed with live offering and the locals saying something in Cantonese. Yul does not understand what they are saying and the couple returns to the car and drive away trying to find the way back to the city. Sooner they meet a stranger, Wei, wounded on the road and Melissa decides to help the man. They are attacked by creepy creatures and they discover that the spirits of the dead are hunting the living. Melissa and Yul try to find a way to protect themselves and survive the hellish night.

"Seventh Moon" is a forgettable low-budget horror movie with a reasonable story and basically four characters only. Unfortunately the camera work is awful, with excessive use of closes and blurred while showing the fiends, maybe due to the limited budget for special effects. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "A Maldição da Sétima Lua" ("The Curse of the 7th Moon")
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7/10
Shaky Cam Strikes Again
randylanders10 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not sure why there's this horrible fondness as of late for using hand-held steadycams, but it certainly makes an almost unwatchable mess of what is a very good story, very good acting, and seemingly a good production.

The story itself is an engaging one: honeymooners trapped in remote China with the undead seeking their lives. It's strongly steeped in Chinese mysticism, and had me from the get go.

The acting was really good. I'd never have thought someone like Amy Smart could pull off a role like this, and she did a great job.

Unfortunately, the use of shaky cam just detracts so much from the movie that parts of it are almost incomprehensible. Directors need to realize that this particular technique is being OVERDONE and makes for really bad cinema.

Hopefully this trend will soon fade... Otherwise you can't help but wonder how many more movies will be ruined by this technique.
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8/10
Ancient Chinese Secret....
Raegan Butcher13 December 2009
Amy Smart and Tim Chiou are a vacationing couple in China. Dennis Chan is their smiling tour guide. After a brief credit-sequence he drives them to a remote rural area and vanishes. The two Americans are stranded in the countryside. Suspicious villagers,duplicitous taxi drivers and hungry "moon demons" figure into the rest of the tale.

This is two thirds a good movie, because the last act is a bit weak. But for the most part this is a superior little chiller. Spooky use of sound, silence and darkness.Some have complained of the hand-held camera-work but I was not bothered by it.Along with ALTERED, this is the best film from Eduardo Sanchez.
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7/10
Too classical for most tastes?
p-stepien13 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A pair of newlyweds decide to spend their honeymoon in China, where Yul (Tim Chiou) intends to visit his relatives, including his grandmother Nai Nai. His love Melissa (Amy Hart) finds joy in their first days of stay, extremely pleased with the exotic appeal of the Hungry Ghost festival. After this event they drive out to finally visit Yul's family, only for their driver Ping (Dennis Chan) to get lost somewhere in the Chinese countryside. He goes into a small village to ask for directions, but fails to return. Yul and Melissa set out to find him, but instead encounter offerings of live animals. Apparently the ghosts are not a myth, but actually the Asian cousins of the crawlers (from the movie "Descent").

Eduardo Sánchez of "Blair With Project" fame executes his new endeavour with some old-style classical frights mixed with some of his trademark hand-held camera filming. All mounted assuredly on the shoulders of a rather traditional and unadventurous script together with some rip-off monsters. In short - nothing really innovative or creative of note. That said all elements are well handled. The eeriness, frights and basic storytelling is all present and as such manage to engage for the duration. Several plot points to stick out like a sore thumb and given how little of a story there actually was it is a major flaw of the movie. The biggest irk is the seemingly unresolved issue of Yul's final wish.

Nonetheless a horror with a very classical feel to it. It won't get extra marks for pushing any boundaries, but definitely heads over heels above most horrors churned out nowadays. The rating on IMDb does seem on the low side for my taste, especially given how highly graded dozens of craptacular genre pieces are.

Both leads do a decent enough job to make you care for their fate, but the script would have done better with some further character build-up. As it is the movie feels awkwardly rushed in many places, but overlong in others. Despite not being a hand-held camera fan I found that this time around it worked especially well and added some gritty tension to the story delivery.
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6/10
Interesting, but lost it's way
ericmcmillan18 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I originally gave this move a seven, but then changed my mind after having fallen asleep TWICE trying to watch this film.

The movie began well enough: newlywed Americans in China enjoying the sights and sounds of the region. They get a little tipsy, have their guide drive them back to their resort only for the driver to become "lost" along the way. The driver looks for directions in the middle of the night and does not return. The couple goes to the little town and are haunted by the darkness, the voices, and the animals left out for sacrifice.

Then they come; the moon demons(?), undead, "zombies"... whatever you call them they are scary. The couple come across a man, injured, along the road and decide to take him with them. The undead follow them to a small town and seek them out.

All of this is interesting: dead people chasing down alive people to satisfy their hunger for fresh flesh (hence, the animals for sacrifice), a young couple who are lost and must depend upon each other, a protagonist in the group who'd rather deal you out to the undead in order to save his life... then it all goes to Hell.

The movie lost it's way when the couple find a house where all of these people are just standing around. The couple then drink something, have sex, and wake up in cages. Now, they are sacrifices. I fell asleep here, twice... this sequence of events totally disrupted the viewing of this movie and ruined it for me.

When I awoke, the girl was in a cave system (i.e., The Descent) and gets away, after seeing her husband become one of them.

Up until the house scene, this movie had a lot of potential. It was whithered away by changing the action so abruptly.
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