DVD Straightjacket - Seventh Moon

Special Features:
Commentary with director Eduardo Sanchez and Amy Smart; Featurettes - Ghosts of Hong Kong, The Pale Figures, and Mysteries of the Seventh Lunar Moon; and trailers, web link, and promos.

Review:
Seventh Moon
is the latest film from Eduardo Sanchez, co-creator / co-director of The Blair Witch Project. Sanchez has continued using some of the tricks Blair Witch was successful with, but this time on a larger budget. Seventh Moon takes place in China, under the guise of an urban legend which ultimately proves true (sound familiar). Instead of three kids in the woods, it’s a honeymooning couple in rural China. Girl-who-is-lost but takes charge applies once again, with Amy Smart in the role this time. Smart and her new husband lose their tour guide while visiting the country during the annual Seventh Moon Festival and the fun begins. The ancient Chinese lore soon turns true and symbols once again preface doom. For instance, the couple (shortly after being lost) return to their car, only to find it covered in blood. This sounds potentially scary, but they just get in and drive away, turning on the windshield wipers. I’m not sure what I would’ve done, but I probably wouldn’t get in a car covered in blood.

The story soon turns into a chase as zombies arise and demand a sacrifice. This sounds like it made sense in the film. Actually, I don’t know what was going on half the time, as the dream sequences, night shooting, and ashy-blue-man-group zombies demanded no urgency for any sort of end. I knew the gates of hell were supposedly opening somewhere, but the vision in my head was more interesting.

Sanchez doesn’t spend enough time getting to know the couple. A great film will endear the audience to the characters so the story will be that much more profound. This works better in horror because their death or torture is that much worse, knowing that the victim is someone’s husband/wife/etc. Seventh Moon shows some embraces, some kissing, but spends no time getting me to care about this couple. My concern for their lives is therefore missing.

The thing that made Blair Witch work was not showing anything. The fear of the unknown is the worst kind of fear (see Paranormal Activity). Moon shows everything and not subtly. This combined with the unlikableness of the couple almost demands me to want them dead from the start. There isn’t much to keep one watching except sheer boredom.

Seventh Moon isn’t without some merits. Some of the photography is well done and the foreign actors do a decent job in trying to make the location and legend feel real, but ultimately this movie is a lost cause. Sanchez will always have his "Cinderella" movie. I don’t know why he feels the need to fit the same glass slippers on a new set of feet. (Review by Rob Angells)


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