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Seventh Moon

(2008, Sanchez)
A film about the occult

"This isn't just China-weird, okay? It's fu˘king just weird-weird."

Every country has its own traditions and beliefs. Some that seem just like fun, and others that might seem weird. The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated in China during the full moon of the seventh lunar month. It is believed that during this time, the gates of hell are opened allowing hungry ghosts to roam the Earth for food, or something to eat. That is why relatives leave offerings and sacrifices for them to feast on.

Seventh Moon is set in China during this celebration, and it follows newly married couple Yul and Melissa (Tim Chiou and Amy Smart) as they are enjoying their honeymoon in his native town. However, when they are left stranded in the wilderness by their tour guide, they have to find ways to avoid the hungry beings and survive the night.

Director Eduardo Sanchez has a talent to build dread and fear through silhouettes, blurry figures, and creatures in the distance. There's a talent there in how he can make you feel on edge with just that. The notion of some impending doom approaching creeps under your skin, especially through that first act as Yul and Melissa are trying to figure out what's going on.

Unfortunately, Sanchez also decides to use a "shaky cam" approach amped to 11, which hinders the overall effect. In addition, the last act doesn't feel as strong as the first two so I don't think the story quite sticks the landing. In the end, everything feels not necessarily scary, creepy, or affecting, but rather just weird-weird.