3.9/10
17
1 user

Gui zhan (1984)

Director:

Ming-Cheung Chin (as Tommy Chin)

Writer:

Ming-Cheung Chin (screenplay) (as Tommy Chin)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Shih-Ou Chang
Alfred Cheung
Flora Chung Flora Chung ... Anna
Allen Fong Allen Fong
Yeuk-Hon Fung Yeuk-Hon Fung
Shirley Kwan
Hon Chi Lai
Honny Lam Honny Lam
Hak-Shun Leung Hak-Shun Leung
Chuan-sheng Li Chuan-sheng Li
Man-Hoi Ling Man-Hoi Ling
Yip-Kwong Ng Yip-Kwong Ng
Shu-chan Ou Shu-chan Ou
Edwin Tsui Edwin Tsui
Lung Tsui Lung Tsui
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

giallo | hong kong giallo | See All (2) »

Genres:

Horror

User Reviews

 
Return to sender
5 June 2020 | by Davian_XSee all my reviews

A failed attempt at something different, DEVIL'S BOX is a real slog of a Chinese horror flick. With an oppressively dour tone, half-baked plot and underdeveloped characters, it's a chore even at 82 minutes.

Tong is a director working at the lower margins of the Hong Kong film industry. While shooting a movie at an abandoned location, he instructs his crew to move a discarded chest. Despite their protestations that the chest is cursed, he makes them do it, and it's not long before one of the crew has taken an accidental plunge off the roof, sending him to the hospital.

Things get worse from there. The editor is found hanging from a noose made of his own film (implausible back in these cellulose acetate days), and Tong has a vision of the guy in the hospital getting murdered by a ghostly nurse right before he actually kicks the bucket. The visions persist, and soon after the doctors diagnose Tong with a brain tumor. Can he defeat these demons and satisfy the curse, or will the DEVIL'S BOX spell the end for him?

The chief problem here is there's no explanation given for what the box is, where it came from, or what it would take to get back in its good graces. There are a few bizarre montage/flashbacks that seem to suggest they might be showing the history of the curse, but they're so arbitrarily integrated it's hard to tell whether or not they're just another of Tong's visions. Beyond that, it's hard to muster the energy to care about any of the characters, given the film gives them no personalities and nothing to do. Tong is the sole even exception, and the film does do a good job painting his role in the industry - toiling away at commercials for picky clients while working on his passion-project feature. It's one of the movie's few bright spots, feeling born out of real lived experience.

Beyond that, the film is all wet, with no direction, no narrative drive, boring and sporadic kills, and nothing else to generate interest. The score is the only other bright spot, reminding me of Goblin's fantastic work on TENEBRAE. Too bad they didn't just release an album of this percussive nightmare fuel, as the film itself would have been best left on the cutting room floor.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

21 April 1984 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Gwai jin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film City Distribution See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed