Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Dennis Chan
What's it about
A honeymooning couple in China runs into trouble with a cult and a bunch of naked zombie-like Moon People who want to kill any living thing for sacrifice.
Is it good movie?
Itís funny how things can work out. Just within the last few weeks, a movie called Paranormal Activity has been hailed as the new Blair Witch Project a full ten years after it momentarily redefined horror. Scary, cheap, smart, original, and insanely profitable. So, itís with that great timing that I received Seventh Moon, the third film from Eduardo Sanchez, the co-director of Blair Witch. Sanchez hasnít exactly been able to recapture that rookie hit, but damn if he doesnít try.
Seventh Moon is all about atmosphere. Itís effectively eerie, brooding, sometimes frightening, and kinda stupid. Sanchez doesnít rush the horror; he builds it slowly allowing the chaos to unfold. He also makes great use of the surroundings, empty and silent fields, looming nighttime skies, and minimal music. The acting (essentially only four characters led by Amy Smart), is mostly believable minus a few occasions. But what makes this film worth a look comes from the Moon People (or whatever theyíre called). Pretty damn freaky little naked creatures, glowing blue under the pale moon light hairless and claw marked. They donít speak, they donít stop coming, and theyíre hungry. Wait, that sounds awfully familiarÖOk, sure, that sounds like a Romero zombie rip-off, but theyíre still naked blue men out for blood. Thatís always scary.
The good elements about the film echo that of what made Witch powerful, but Seventh Moon falls way short of reflecting Witchís impact mostly due to a pencil thin story and nauseating camera work. Nothing really happens here; thereís little actual drama, no real point expressed, and the characters arenít exactly lovable. Sanchez never develops the honeymooning couple at all, leaving them exactly that: a honeymooning couple. Nothing more. She bitches. He reacts. Both make one dumb ass decision after another which I realize is a stable of the horror genre, but sometimes there needs to be better reasons than presented here. Namely after the couple gets ditched by their guide, find blood smeared all over their car, and encounter a group of chanting people, they speed off only to stop in the middle of the road to rescue a guy who was attacked by the naked Moon men. Really? If your car is smeared in blood and you just thought there was a cult down the road, you really are going to stop to help? I donít think so. I guess all horror characters make stupid decisions. However, the rest of the film is usually strong enough to where you donít care.
And speaking of low budget hits, Sam Raimi, the king himself, has expanded his Ghost House Productions to Ghost House Underground, straight-to-DVD flicks thatíll compete with the numerous other horror lines out there. And while Seventh Moon isnít close to an Evil Dead or even Witch, it at least maintains some of what Raimi established nearly 30 years ago. Maybe just a pinch.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear 16x9 Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Surround.
Commentary: Director Sanchez and star Smart provide the track. Smart sounds hot just listening to her. I know that doesn't really help with knowing about the content, but it's true.
Ghost of Hong Kong: The Making ofÖ: An 11-minute look at making the flick in Hong Kong. A relatively silent look at several aspects of the film. Feels very much like the kinds of features Iíve seen in actual Asian films.
The Pale Figures: Five minutes of how they created the Moon People, which they more appropriately call pale figures. Gotta love make-up transition features.
Mysteries of the Seventh Lunar Month: A little over seven minutes of a fake old school video telling us the dangers of the Lunar month. Shot to look like those school informative videos. I suspect part of this was intended for the film but cut.
Ghost House Micro Videos: Two minutes of clips of various metal music videos taken from various new flicks. Eh.
Sanchez can always say he was part of the Blair Witch phenomenon. And while I found Seventh Moon mostly entertaining, itís all B-level. Maybe Sanchez is cool with that. I sure as hell would be. But if he hopes to return to the big time, heíll need to remember a quality story next time.