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Gu zhen xiong ling zhi wu zhou chan shen (2013)

Gu zhen xiong ling zhi wu zhou chan shen is a movie starring Yang Hao, Zheng Liu, and Jiexi Wang. When art student Kangsheng returns to his remote hometown village with his classmates to search of ancient murals, they are witness to a fatal car accident. Kangsheng's girlfriend Wangzhi ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yang Hao
Zheng Liu
Jiexi Wang
Lei Yang
Zhao-bei Zhang
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Storyline

When art student Kangsheng returns to his remote hometown village with his classmates to search of ancient murals, they are witness to a fatal car accident. Kangsheng's girlfriend Wangzhi unintentionally interrupts the local witchcraft ritual for the deceased. Horrified, the group flee the scene and settle at the inn owned by Kangsheng's mother. The following day, out searching for murals, the group find instead a mysterious hand-painted sign in a cave. The surprises are only beginning. Written by anonymous

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Horror | Thriller

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6 September 2013 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Dead Sign  »

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Solid enough supernatural thriller
1 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

Returning to their remote hometown village, a young man going on a school trip to study the ancient murals left on the cave walls soon turns into a series of strange ghostly activity that is spurned through their reckless behavior and try to get out of the village alive.

For the most part, this here was quite the enjoyable effort. One of the more enjoyable elements featured here is the fact that there's a rather overwhelming sense of atmosphere throughout here that makes the film quite suspenseful. The idea of the group being stranded in the remote village with the overbearing rainstorm pouring down on them and the absolute isolation being that deep in the mountain range does a solid job of ensuring that the setting works for this kind of story. Combining it all with the customs of the locals, from the way they set up the offerings for the ghost and the meticulous matter of fact way they arrange the decorations and trinkets, all makes for a rather enjoyable place to lead the supernatural elements through as it feels really traditional and old-fashioned against their more modern feelings and beliefs. This all works so well such that when it starts getting even creepier and lets this one come into more overt horror territory with the discovery of the cave drawings and the connection to the area which is only furthered by the accident they come across on the way there being a rather freaky starting point. The later scenes showing the group encountering the ghosts out in the caves or in the forest are incredibly fun due to this rather strong set-up, and they infuse some nice action into the film's pacing to liven it up during the final half which has all that nice creepy action to help it along, from hallucinating the ghost is in the room with them to the sexual encounter with the ghost and leading into the protection ritual in the room where they battle the final ghost. These here make this one quite enjoyable, although there are a few minor flaws here. The biggest issue to overcome is the fact that this one just doesn't do anything for long stretches of time so that this has only a few ghost elements. This is mainly taken up by the insipid investigation angle into the deaths happening around them as the laborious efforts to get the point across and get the clues worked out to their most logical conclusion is a wrong-headed move. It would've been fine had it stuck to the facts, but instead it jams in the attempts at recreating their own version of what could have happened which really has no place in a story like this as it takes the focus off the supernatural and drags the film out far longer than it really needed to be. The remaining story lines surrounding this piece, from the long-winded incarceration to the revelation of the backstory about their connection to the village are just not all that important and makes this section of the film incredibly dull and drawn-out here. As well, there's a few rather cheesy-looking CGI effects for the ghosts who are clearly not in the shot, these here are all that really hold this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence, Language and an attempted rape.


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