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THE MATRIMONY
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Reviewed by: Ryan Doom

Directed by: Teng Huatao

Starring:
Leon Lai
Rene Liu
Fan Bing Bing

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After a woman is killed and taken away from her lover, she wonít go softly into the night. When her man remarries, she comes back as a jealous ghost.
Is it good movie?
The Matrimony is a well made, well acted, and beautifully designed film that somehow just didnít grab and take hold of me like I expected. Thereís not much to pin point for a reason either because it doesnít come across as a cheap, thoughtless gore fest. But then again, the movie is mostly gore free. And for the matter, scare free. Occasionally, some creepy ghost sequences pop up here and there, but I checked the DVD timer a few times, wondering how much longer I had. The film starts slow and takes its time working up to the tension. It wasnít until roughly 40 minutes in did any horror element creep in. And as the timer ticked away, for some reason I couldnít help but think of Ang Leeís Hulk. Sometimes, too much story and emotion doesnít fit within a genre. Fans wanted to see Hulk smash. And if The Matrimony contains ghosts and supposed horror, fans expect blood. Fans expect fear. Here, they donít get that.

Perhaps why The Matrimony seems a little off comes from the emotional investment placed on the characters. They not only have depth, but have backgrounds, desires, and what seem like true emotions. Letís face it, most horror films have flimsy, cardboard characters that we care enough about to watch the progression of the story. Beyond that, who cares? Viewers want the ride, the gore, the fear. With The Matrimony, characters seem three-dimensional. The bond between the man and the woman seems true and one can feel the maleís pain as his loved one gets her head cracked open after being killed by a car. And after he remarries years later, the pain in his new wife seems heart wrenching, as he remains distant to her. Heís lost in his former love, unable to love again. But too much emotional pain isnít a good thing. This seems like high-class horror, not that thereís anything wrong with that. Iím just saying genres are genres for a reason. They need the essentials.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen

Audio: 2.0, English Subtitles.
The Extras
Notta. Had a good ol' screener copy.
Last Call
Overall, The Matrimony is constructed nicely, with the key pieces of story, acting and design all working. But itís a bit slow as it lacked gore, tension and any true horror. Anyone looking for a change of pace will no doubt find it engrossing, but if expecting something standard, keep looking elsewhere.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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