I am a HUGE fan of foreign horror. As a matter of fact, if you don’t mind the subtitles, Indian films are extremely horrific. I don’t know what it is about them, but they truly have added to my nightmares growing up as a kid.
On that same tangent, Asian horror was big to me too. Shutter, The Grudge and The Ring, in my opinion, were fantastic remakes of their foreign predecessors. The storylines were original, they held a spook factor, and the occasional jumps were good ones. Not enough, but enough to make you want to re-watch the film at least one more time. What compels me the most is the supernatural aspect of different cultures and how death is perceived in different countries.
It would be unfair for me to compare these films to Ghost Bride, but it was because of these movies that enticed me to watch David Blyth’s horror-romance between an immigrant from China and a girl from New Zealand.
The concept is fairy streamlined. Jason is told that he is set to marry Mei Ling by a matchmaker and his aging mother, but there is a problem with this arranged marriage; Jason has fallen in love with another woman, Sky. Sky is not Asian, and that really ticks Jason’s mother off. Alas, Mei Ling is not your traditional arranged marriage bride. Because, as the film’s title states, Mei Ling is dead.
The story has potential, and a few times I had to applaud the various actors and actresses for a job well done; still, I just couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting it to end, asap.
If you watch the trailer below, you will see bouts of good footage done from a good camera angle- giving the illusion that some of these individuals have longer faces than they should have. So when they laugh, they look like scary maniacs. You might have noticed that in V/H/S, during the Safe Haven story. Something about laughing Asians really scares me when they are put in a horror type environment.
Surprisingly, the best character of all was the one that didn’t talk as much, Mei Ling- played by Fiona Feng. That is an element that worked for me. The main ‘villain” if you will, really did a good job in her role. I also felt that Yoson An, who played Jason, did a good job as the torn groom to be. You could tell that his acting skills are a little bit more up to par than the other cast members.
Another aspect I feel makes for a great horror film is unpredictability. If you can’t see it coming, it will be leave you impressed. I felt in Ghost Bride everything was calculated and didn’t present new material to set itself apart from its counterparts.
The underlying premise of getting into an arranged marriage, even the live ones, scared me a tad bit more than Ghost Bride. Worth the watch, but not if you want a good scare.
Ghost Bride was released on DVD, and iTunes, VOD on the 4th of November.
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