The New York Times
Plenty of movies here in the States have of course been inspired by allegedly true paranormal events, from The Amityville Horror to The Conjuring.
A sure sign of the success of such films is when the haunted houses at the center of them become tourist attractions in the wake of their release, which is something that’s going on big time over in China this weekend.
As reported by The New York Times, this past Thursday night marked the theatrical release of a film called The House That Never Dies (Jingcheng No. 81), which quickly became a smash hit at the Chinese box office. The 3D horror flick has already pulled in $25.7 million, putting it third on the domestic charts.
Like the aforementioned films before it, The House That Never Dies was based on the real-life legend of a mansion in Beijing known as Chaonei No. 81. According to stories, the house was built in 1910 and is haunted by the ghost of the mistress of a Kuomintang official who hanged herself there, after her lover abandoned her following the Communist victory in 1949.
Long since abandoned, the mansion on Chaoyangmen Inner Street has been somewhat of a tourist attraction over the years, though the release and subsequent success of the film has essentially turned it into China’s version of the infamous Amityville Horror house.
Upwards of 500 fans per day have been visiting the house in the wake of the film’s release, exploring the grounds and taking photos. So populated has the area become that the building’s owners were forced to close up a gate at the entrance of the compound, to keep people out.
Directed by Wai Man Yip, The House That Never Dies stars Francis Ng, Ruby Lin, Tony Yang, Monica Mok, Amanda Qin and Li Jing.
The film follows Xu Ruoqing, a woman whose presence in the notorious mansion draws up the spirits that have taken residence there.
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