Candle in the Tomb

Candle in the Tomb (2016)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 245 users
Reviews: 4 users

There is an old Chinese saying, "A human lights the candle and the ghosts blow it out."
Hu Ba Yi is well versed in Feng Shui with specialization in tomb configuration, which he learned from an antique book he inherited from his family. The knowledge saved him when he fell into a ditch in a snow avalanche in Tibet. And again when he and his friends joined an archaeology team to explore read morethe "ghost cave" located in Taklamakan Desert. As he helped the team navigate through the dangers, he couldn't help feeling that someone had predicted their every move and designed the traps and hidden passages accordingly.

"Candle In The Tomb" is a web drama based on the Chinese web novel series, "Ghost Blows Out the Light", written by The Ruler Under Heavens.

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17 people found this review helpful
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Jan 23, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 7.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.5
Candle in the Tomb is the best out of the Winter batch of 2016/2017 Cdramas by a long mile, and that's largely because of the refreshing subject matter and its production quality. There are some green screens which were not processed properly in post-production, but in general the CGI is pretty good.

The drama is adapted from the uber popular same-name novel and hence the story is rich. A lot of it read more is just pure imagination on the author's part, but the good thing is that there is no cliches (like all the love stories you've been seeing), and it's a pretty "loyal" adaptation (yes, this is a dig at General and I). The directing is great, the jump scares are terrifying (the two kids in the first tomb and the professor in the penultimate episode - brilliant, brilliant acting on his part), the acting is decent, there's a little humour here and there, just bits of everything. But it's really well-executed, and that's what sets it apart from the awful The Lost Tomb*.

The main complaint I have about the drama is its pacing. The first episode is quite dull since it was mainly used to introduce the main and side characters, one which won't appear much in the rest of the drama at all. I think they have every intention to make a sequel (I heard that Da Jin Ya will have a larger role in the next books) and that's why they expended this much time in setting up everything. The first tomb exploration was quite eventful, and that's where things start to get interesting. However, the pacing problems began again. I mean, they took half an episode to bury Professor Hao!

Also, the whole archaeological team just seems like a huge burden to our three main characters. You're really just watching to see how they die out one by one, and it's difficult to feel sorry for them because of how useless they are. There's a huge reversal at the end but I won't spoil it here.

Other minor flaws include two dubbers for Shirley Yang because the original actor is Taiwanese, and the main dubber is not fluent in English, bad syncing for the English dubbed lines, Shirley Yang's exceptional picture interpretation skills, the archaeological team member who's obsessed with aliens (a horrible attempt at comedy) and so on.

It's difficult to elaborate on the highlights of Candle in the Tomb, because it is a very consistent drama, and thus the flaws stand out more. But trust me, despite what I have to say about the negatives, the drama is definitely worth a watch. In any case, I'm really looking forward to a second season, preferably with the same cast.

*There's bound to be recommendations for The Lost Tomb because the two dramas are of the same genre and are based on the same topic. Nevertheless, there's no need to spend time watching TLT. It's so bad that you should flush it out from your memory if you ever tried watching.
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3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 18, 2017
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
A breath of fresh air among Chinese dramas.

Though there are some other dramas that also relate to tomb raiding, Candle in the Tomb is executed best. A solid main cast, good sense of suspense, and an interesting storyline all made this my most enjoyable drama of the recent batch.

Jin Dong and Zhao Da are great as Hu Ba Yi and Fatty. Their acting and interactions made this a great watch, read more especially with Fatty being a greedy idiot. They also voiced their own characters, which added to their great acting. Joe Chen also does well as Shirley, being a strong and independent female lead, similar to some of her other roles. An Li Man was one of my favorite characters. I love the way he speaks.

The plot always kept me intrigued. A short drama, but it included multiple arcs. The mysteries of each place kept me hooked, and the cinematography, especially in dark places, was superb. I wasn't ever sure if our band of characters were safe. Romance was not prevalent but I do see a budding hint. No cheesy over-the-top romantic scenes like you see in other dramas here.

There are still so many plot points to explore and expand upon. I'm looking forward to seeing the sequels if there will be any.

Only con I think there is would be some of the side characters. Most of them were quite useless and just a liability for our main leads. How on earth were they chosen to go on a treacherous trek through the desert? And the drama just glossed over what exactly happened to them at the end (though I heard this was different from the novel).
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Both involve adventures with a team of people explore old places which have traps and secrets hidden. Both have mystery, suspense and action elements.
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Comments (78)

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  • Reply
    EmmaM 4 days ago

    So is there going to be a Season 2 with the same actors?

  • Reply
    EmmaM Jun 16, 2017

    Is the audio low quality for anyone else?

  • Reply
    cgaman Apr 27, 2017 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    DNI Feb 24, 2017 - edited

    Is this worth watching? Is the story any good (or is this episodic)? Or is it nonsensical and stuffed with boring romance?

    • Reply
      QAS Mar 17, 2017 - edited

      No romance! The story is laid out in sequence. There are parts that drag, but there is a lot of dialog. The scenery is beautiful, especially the desert. I looked at Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe and Mojin: The Lost Legend last week, that have the Hu Bayi and Shirley Yang characters that are in Candle in the Tomb.

  • Reply
    amourexdile Feb 18, 2017

    I really hope that there is a season 2 and that it includes the same actress and actors for the main characters. The Ghouls was good but the leads were played by other people. I really like Jin Dong, Chen Joe, and Zhao Da. I hope that they can reprise their roles.

  • Reply
    Claudia Feb 6, 2017 - edited

    I loved this show! Candle in the Tomb was well-written, exciting and lots of unique adventures that were intriguing and not too far-fetched! I was surprised a week ago when I saw an episode 22 posted on Viki and then it disappeared a few days after. Boo hoo! Seems like 21 really isn't an ending. I am hoping for a season 2. Does anyone know? Another dose of this story would be terrific!

    • Reply
      amourexdile Feb 16, 2017

      Have you seen either The Ghouls or Chronicles of a Ghostly Tribe? They are both movies with the same characters as this drama (the actors/actresses are different though). The Ghouls was pretty good. I haven't seen Chronicles of a Ghostly Tribe. Also, the prequel will be released at the end of this year- Candle in the Tomb - The Weasel Grave.

  • Reply
    nastou19 Feb 4, 2017 - edited
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    LuvK Feb 1, 2017

    Enjoyed this web drama, was blown away with the ending was not expecting it. . Love the lead, guy and the supernatural parts.

  • Reply
    Mou Feb 1, 2017 - edited
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    • Reply
      anopinion Feb 5, 2017

      She may be lying about that. I can't remember the plot from the novel so I can't say for sure though.

    • Reply
      amourexdile Feb 18, 2017
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      Mou Feb 19, 2017
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    Orion Feb 1, 2017

    i love this drama the best story

  • Reply
    kailtynkox Jan 31, 2017

    when will season 2 air?

  • Reply
    Orion Jan 30, 2017

    Tomb adventure is best

  • Reply
    Orion Jan 30, 2017

    I like this drama

  • Reply
    Mystearica81 Jan 28, 2017

    I smell a sequel! Season two

  • Reply
    Reina Jan 26, 2017 - edited

    I find it so slow, kind of disappointed ...


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  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Dec 19, 2016 to Jan 23, 2017
  • Aired On:

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  • Duration:

    35 min.


  • Score:

    8.0 (scored by 245 users)
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