May 20, 2014

"Rigor Mortis" - A Hong Kong Horror Movie To Get Excited About

I think most people would agree that western horror has been failing for decades now, having lost sight of what actually makes a movie scary (With a few exceptions). What is defined as 'horror' these days involves movies that are filled with cheap 'startle' scares and recycled concepts that come out during Halloween to turn a quick buck. As a result I've found myself looking abroad for something fresh, and Hong Kong seems intent on delivering that with Rigor Mortis by fledgling director Juno Mak.

While the trailer is filled with tropes we've been accustomed to, I have to say that the 'cultural horror' aspect of the film might be a draw. Within a two minute trailer we're given a glimpse into Chinese ghost and vampire (Jiangshi) mythology, which are miles away from the ones that we've grown accustomed to in the west. This comes from Mak's wish to resurrect a dormant genre of Hong Kong horror that was prevalent in the 80's and 90's with franchises like Mr Vampire, that were incredibly popular at the time.

Aside from the stellar box office numbers abroad, the movie seemed to get quite a warm reception at the various festivals it was screened at internationally (Tokyo, London, Toronto and others), so we're genuinely excited about catching a screening when the movie premieres in the US on June 6.

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