Seventh Moon (2008)

Directed By: Eduardo Sanchez
Written By: Eduardo Sanchez
  Jamie Nash
Starring: Amy Smart
  Tim Chiou
  Dennis Chan
Seventh Moon

Seventh Moon is creepy and nasty but suffers from a tiresome plot and annoying direction. Overly long even at eighty-eight minutes, it is a decent watch but sadly nothing special.

Honeymooners Melissa (Amy Smart) and Yul (Tim Chiou) are visiting China, where Melissa will meet her husband’s family for the first time. They arrive during the “hungry ghost” festival, where people offer metaphorical sacrifices to ward off evil spirits. Traveling into the countryside, their friendly guide Ping (Dennis Chan) gets lost and stops at a decrepit and seemingly deserted village. Searching for help, he goes missing, leaving Melissa and Yul stranded in the middle of China.

Suspecting Ping’s disappearance might be linked to the Hungry Ghost festival, they wisely flee the village. Soon they find themselves lost, alone, and pursued by something in the night. They quickly realize the metaphorical sacrifices they saw in the city aren’t so metaphorical deep in the countryside, and what should’ve been a pleasant honeymoon swiftly turns into a fight for their lives and very souls.

Seventh Moon at least has an original concept, and is bravely set in rural China, even if an American couple are the protagonists. The main disappointment with Seventh Moon is the plotting – resembling a particularly horrific dot-to-dot, we’re treated to Melissa and Yul moving from hiding place to hiding place, each time being found and then escaping. It’s predictable, patience-stretching stuff, and although it does occasionally thrill, the characters are not compelling enough to hold your full attention.

What makes or breaks a “stranded couple” movie is the chemistry between the protagonists, whether it be frayed or loving, but in Seventh Moon it’s very mediocre. They’re in love and Melissa would’ve preferred to go to Hawaii for their Honeymoon… and that’s all the character we’re given. They’re both nice enough people, it’s just there’s no depth and their occasional argument is predictably petty.

Often what also elevates a horror film from mediocrity are the antagonists. Luckily for Seventh Moon they’re well created – Descent-like pasty white humanoids with sunken eyes, scarred skin and dark, spiked mouths. Disturbing when blurred in the background and even more so up close, Blair Witch Project creator Eduardo Sanchez does a decent job of depicting demonic entities the actually scare. Unfortunately their actions are sometimes very questionable, and you’d never invite them to play hide n’ seek as they’re truly abysmal at it, unable to sniff out a whimpering Amy Smart from less than a metre away.

Occasionally Seventh Moon can be a bit ridiculous and slightly confusing – Sanchez’s direction has a distinctly hand-held feel to it, like Blair Witch but without the excuse of there not actually being a cameraman there. It is sometimes disorientating, irritating and stomach-sickening. Not a wise choice, and this only really works towards the end of the film when the action is moved underground and into a more confined space.

Seventh Moon has a solid concept, stretched too far with little innovation to really excel. The acting is not particularly note-worthy and the dialogue is perfunctory at best, but with decent and creepy monsters and some scary moments, Seventh Moon is not a bad horror movie, it just could have been so much more. Decent, nasty, but distinctly lacking – there are worse horror films, but many better.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.