This was so much better than I was expecting, and it genuinely gave me chills at certain points. The musical score was spot on as well!
Director: Shih-Han Liao
Screenwriter: Tzu-Ming Ma
Starring: Kang-sheng Lee, Wilson Hsu, Vera Chen
Runtime: 104 Minutes
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
Jia-min, who was born sensitive to the paranormal, tries to summon “Yi-A-Gu” with two streamers. Huo-ge helps Jia-min subdue the spirit when the situation goes out of hand. Huo-ge possesses supernatural powers but lost his will to exorcise demons during a battle with the Thai Demon five years ago. As the wave of suicides continues, the village is thrown into chaos. Another battle is about to begin… – From IMDB
I do not think I have ever watched a horror film where the sound and musical score have had such a profound effect on my enjoyment of the film. Both the amazing score, and the sound design are the main ways that this film sets up it’s chilling atmosphere, considering that the film isn’t set in a particularly scary or spooky setting apart from the opening scenes with the chair maiden. The rest of the film takes place in a normal house, in a normal town, so there needed to be something to bring the chills and the music does that so well.
Another thing this film does well is inserting emotional moments in to break up the horror elements and give you a reason to really root for and empathise with the characters. We get to know about their struggles and their lives, it makes it a lot easier for us to care about them than just wall to wall horror.
The film is Taiwanese I do believe, so it focusses on a set of legends and beliefs that I am not familiar with, making a nice change from the bog-standard Christian style possession stories we get in a lot of Western horror movies. The ghost stories and mentioned here are scary and unlike any I have heard before, it made for a scarier watch when you do not know what is coming.
As with most horror films, the acting performances can be a little spotty. Most of them here fall into the just above average category, with Wilson Hsu being the standout performance, her character has a lot more to do emotionally than a lot of the other characters, so she stands out for that reason alone, but she does such a great job of it, that she is easily the best performance in the film.
The weird storyline involving the blogger was not really necessary after using it to establish our psychic character in the beginning, I got really tired of him after a while, and had no interest in what he was doing. He was a horrible person; an unlikable character and I don’t know why he had to stay around for so long.
Fans of horror films could do a lot LOT worse than this one and fans of Asian horror films may well find a new favourite here. I Highly recommend.
‘The Rope Curse 2’ is streaming now on Netflix.