Juno Mak's feature debut is an impressive feat: it’s a phantasmagorical tour of Chinese superstition and religion that’s also a loving (and semi-meta) homage to the Jiangshi films of the ‘80’s.
And it pays this rather noteworthy tribute by stripping away the comedic wackiness of the original Jiangshi films and delivering an atmospheric tale of blood and shadows and death.
Co-produced by Ju-on mastermind, Shimizu Takashi, Geung Si manages to rope in even a non-Jiangshi film fan like myself (those who know me well know that the wacky schtick is so not my thing) with the aforementioned phantasmagoria and atmosphere and the straight-faced, straightforward approach to the narrative.
The fact that I was not a particular fan of Jiangshi also meant that the meta leanings of Geung Si pretty much flew right over my head, but even missing out on that aspect during my first viewing did not diminish my amazement at the film.
Playing out like a wild and creepy mash-up of Asian horror and wuxia, I highly recommend this, especially for those KADASIG readers who’ve ever wondered what a film adaptation would look like.
For my money, it would look something like Geung Si…
(Geung Si/Rigor Mortis OS’ and Character Poster courtesy of thedailyzombies.com.)