Horror movies to watch this Chinese ghost month

By Patricia Hului
@pattbpseeds

 

ACCORDING TO TRADITIONAL CHINESE culture, the Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

It is a day where people bring food offerings to appease the spirits and ward off bad luck.

The whole seventh month is regarded as the Ghost Month (gui yue) which this year begins July 27 and ends Aug 24, a time when, according to old Chinese belief, the gates of Hell are opened to allow the spirits and souls from the other side to roam freely in ours.

Among the activities being done this month include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, joss paper and papier-mâché in the form of material items such as clothes, gold and other find goods for the spirits.

It is also a month where many taboos are observed such as not hanging wet clothes out during the night, not turning to answer when or if your name is being called from behind you at night, not wearing black, not coming back late at night and so on.

Several horror films are due for release this month; although none are Chinese movies as expected.

But Hungry Ghost Ritual, a Hong Kong-Malaysian horror film was released on July 10 and conveniently had its curtain call during the first week of Ghost Month after a month in the cinema.

For those who are not superstitious or love horror movies in general, here are four new movies to watch in the cinema during the Chinese ghost month – if you are daring enough that is.

 

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1. Ju On 3: The Beginning of the End (Japanese)

The infamous Saeki family is back again to tell the story of the curse started in Ju On 1.

In this seventh instalment of the Ju On franchise, this movie is a reboot of the series where the son of the Saeki family, Toshio takes the limelight this time where his story of the curse is told.

It starts with Yui, Toshio’s teacher who visits his home since he has been absent from school for a long period of time. Then the haunting begins, as expected.

If you cannot get enough of Ju On or the American version of it – The Grudge – this movie is definitely a must watch.

Release Date: 31 Jul 2014
Running Time: 90 minutes
Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Cast: Nozomi Sasaki

 

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2. Hong Hoon (Thai)

The official synopsis says that this film revolves around a woman who believes she lost her father in an accident, but is approached by a stranger who explains that he died because he had a wax figure made of himself.

So what is the big deal? You might ask. Apparently the Thai believe that such replications are a big no-no until after death.

Having a wax figure made in your likeness before your own death is believed to bring bad luck and even lead you to your death, so to speak.

Which makes you wonder, what about all the celebrities immortalised in the wax museums around the world?

Release Date: 21 Aug 2014
Director: Kulp Kaljareuk
Cast: Ananda Everingham, Rattanarat “Ploy” Aurthaveekul.

 

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3. Gallows Hill (English)

Number one lesson you learn from a horror movie is, if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere when your car breaks down, do not go to the nearest inn; it is bound to be haunted.

And of course, in this movie the characters refuse to listen. Gallow Hill is a story of widower David, who flies to Bogota with his new fiancée to retrieve his rebellious, teenage daughter Jill.

They are stranded in a rundown inn after a car accident and after poking around in the inn, discover and release a young girl locked in the basement.

Another lesson learnt from this movie: never release a young girl from a basement.

Release Date: 21 Aug 2014
Director: Víctor García
Cast: Peter Facinelli, Sophia Myles, Nathalia Ramos, Carolina Guerra

 

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4. Jin (Malay)

Lend some support to our own Malaysian talents by watching ‘Jin’ this month.
Pierre Andre directed this movie which follows the story of jin, supernatural creatures which are frequently mentioned in the al-Quran.

Jin, like human beings, can either be good or evil. In this movie, however, the characters find themselves dealing with trouble caused by a bad jin.

Because it wouldn’t be fun if they were only dealing with the good jins right?

Release Date: 21 Aug 2014
Director: Pierre Andre
Cast: Zul Ariffin, Mon Ryanti

 

Photo credits: www.gsc.com.my

 

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1 Response

  1. Random Guy says:

    This movie “Jinn” is not from Malaysian at all. You started out by saying ” Lend some support to our own Malaysian talents by watching….”

    It was RELEASED in Malay, as well as released in many other countries as well, but was actually made/ shot in the U.S.A. (Google info.)
    Just wanted to point that out 🙂

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