Saturday, October 31, 2015

#1,902. Seventh Moon (2008)

Directed By: Eduardo Sánchez

Starring: Amy Smart, Dennis Chan, Tim Chiou

Tag line: "The Gates of Hell are Open"

Trivia: Premiered at the 2008 Austin Fantastic Fest

Instead of relaxing in the Caribbean, Mel (Amy Smart) and Yul (Tim Chiou) decided to spend their honeymoon in China, in part so that Yul (Chinese by birth) can introduce his new wife to members of his extended family. With Ping (Dennis Chan), a professional driver, as their guide, the newlyweds have thus far been having the time of their lives. Things start to go south, however, when, during the long trip into the country to visit Yul’s grandmother, Ping tells the couple he’s taken a wrong turn, and that he needs to walk to a nearby village to ask for directions. When he’s gone for over an hour, Mel and Yul head out into the darkness to find him. What they don’t realize, though, is that this particular evening marks the festival of the Seventh Moon, when, according to legend, the dead roam the earth looking for living sacrifices. With nowhere to hide, Mel and Yul find themselves on the run from a group of bloodthirsty ghouls, who, before the night is out, must claim one of the living as their own.

Seventh Moon was writer / director Eduardo Sanchez’s third feature film, and like The Blair Witch Project and Altered, this 2008 movie works its way under your skin fairly quickly. Left alone in the middle of nowhere, Mel and Yul (well portrayed by Smart and Chiou, respectively) have no choice but to leave the comfort of Ping’s car and walk down to the village, which, aside from a dog and a few farm animals, seems to be abandoned. Their confusion soon gives way to fear, however, when they hear voices coming from the boarded-up homes calling out to someone (or something), welcoming them. From here on out, Seventh Moon is a pretty intense motion picture, with nerve-racking scenes (the leads spend half the film a short step ahead of whatever it is that’s chasing them) and effectively spooky monsters (we don’t get a good look at the creatures until well into the movie, but what we do see early on is enough to tell us they aren’t your everyday spirits).

Though at times a bit too jittery for its own good (the majority of the film was shot using a hand-held camera, which bounces around a little more often than it should), Seventh Moon is a supernatural ghost story and creepy monster movie rolled into one, and is yet another feather in Eduardo Sanchez’s already crowded cap.

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