Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Dennis Chan, Amy Smart, Tim Chiou
Directed by Eduardo Sanchez
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
The co-director of The Blair Witch Project returns once again with another tale of terror that explores why it would be a lot safer to just hang out in town or in the city, instead of messing around in the fucking woods. Seventh Moon takes us through a rural area of China where the ghostly pale spirits of the dead are demanding their yearly offerings.
The rules are simple. Give them something live to kill and they won’t mess with you or your home. Of course newlyweds Melissa (Smart) and Yul (Chiou) initially chalk this up to being an old wives tale, but when their guide Ping (Chan) ends up mysteriously disappearing, leaving them stranded in lord knows where, our duo find out that even the craziest sounding legends can have a foothold in reality. Or in this case, a very deadly reality.
Seventh Moon starts off with a bang and never lets up until the third act. We’ll get to that in a moment. Sanchez knows how to deliver the chills, and with this flick he does so in spades, creating what feels like a truly claustrophobic environment amidst a wide open landscape where anything can and does happen. This part of the world feels suitably foreign and alien as it is presented here for our poor American tourists. They barely speak the language, they can’t communicate that they need help, and worse – even if they could, no one would dare lift a finger to save them, or else they too would face the wrath of the pale ones.
Things cook along at a nice steady pace until in the third act we hit a completely unnecessary wall. To fully illustrate what happens, I’d have to dole out tons of spoilers so you’re just going to have to see it for yourself. Suffice it to say that the stakes become significantly lowered and things begin to drag a bit. This doesn’t ruin the film, and truth be told there are some great moments during the finale, but in the end it just doesn’t go anywhere.
Another minor issue is that Seventh Moon is shot entirely hand-held so there’s shaky-cam a plenty. Thankfully there’s no quick editing to further distract you so the viewer never becomes disoriented. It’s easy to see in some scenes why Sanchez employs this technique, but in others it’s just senseless. Do we really need to see a close-up of the moon being rattled about. Really? I’m guessing this may put off a lot of movie watchers. Chance taken.
The DVD and the Blu-ray share identical supplemental material with the nod going to the BD in the picture and sound department. Things kick off with a great commentary with writer/director Eduardo Sanchez and actress Amy Smart. These two are very funny and have lots of chemistry so you can’t help but be entertained. From there we get three featurettes that explore everything from your traditional behind-the-scenes stuff to Chinese legends. This is really good stuff and totally worth a watch. Things are capped off with yet another completely unrelated to the movie music video that has become a staple of sorts for these latest Ghost House Underground releases.
Seventh Moon is a badass and at times downright chilling little movie that deserves its rightful place in your home video collection. Yep, it’s time to cross China off on my list of places I will never, ever visit. Thanks, Ed!
3 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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