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Eternal Love
9 people found this review helpful
Apr 2, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
What an emotional roller coaster! Having just finished, here is my review:

This story explores two primary romance plots with several sub plots woven in. The overall theme of the story is that of soul mates, and love surviving even death.

What I Liked:
I deeply enjoyed the layered relationships of BQ. The relationship with her mentor is central to the story as is her relationship with his twin, Ye Hua. Through these relationships the female lead explores many different levels of emotion. We see a youthful side when she is a student; then as an adult she becomes more closed off in order to guard her feelings. BQ is an extremely capable woman, the leader of the foxes as its queen, but she values relationships the most and struggles with forgiving wrongs. She is fair but also not one to suffer an insult; she dishes out double what is served to her. Ye Hua is obedient to his grandfather as he is the heir however his one act of defiance--falling in love with a mortal (BQ, forced to leave as a mortal with no memory of being a goddess) creates a ton of complicated problems. this story reflects their very complicated journey.

What I Loved:
the second love story features BQ's niece, Fengjiu, an impulsive and romantic red fox (the only one of her kind) who seeks to repay Donghua, a god as old as time with no parents (he just sprang into being). He also has no emptions and no interest in anyone or anything. I enjoyed their love story more than the main, perhaps because their obstacles seemed to be insurmountable. These two, it seems, have no fate together. Even BQ is fated to be with YH. Their story follows Fenjius efforts to gain Donghua's love and is just as complicated as BQ/YH.

What I also Liked:
This drama's villains are not as obvious as other shows. Yes there were living people but it seemed that one of the biggest villains in the show were things that you have no control over (fate) or things designed to protect others (rules). The rigid rules of the celestial court proved time and time again to undermine these people. And fate, well...who can go up against that?

My favorite living villain?
Undoubtedly Xuan Nu beause I thought she had a lot of depth.

What would I like to see:
If anyone sees my posts or discussion boards, or reads my episode views, they know that I am an enormous fan of DH/FJ. I have read this dramas sequel (the pillow book) and would be very happy if they made it into a show. If that doesn't happen, at least the novel exists.

Final Words (acting)
I think that the cast did a great job. Every actor was perfect in their role and I don't think anyone would have been better in their roles. I know a lot of people were drawn to YH but...the gent who played DH is my favorite. I do think, however, that the young woman who played BQ hands down wins for best actress and overall did a wonderful job as BQ. Of course, because I am biased, the actress who plays FJ is my favorite however her character, I think, might be easier to play.

I did not give this show a perfect 10 because some parts dragged, and some parts I sped through a little. But most of the show I watched. I recommend it to anyone interested in dramatic stories with great dialogue, great action, good acting, and a deep appreciation for the melodramatic (because this show uses almost every plot device that one might see in a daytime soap)

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Novoland: The Castle in the Sky
4 people found this review helpful
Apr 15, 2017
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 2.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
This is a difficult review to write. Here is why:
1.The show was clearly meant to be longer, but for reasons unknown, it was cut to 30 minutes. As a result, the editing isn't good and somethings do not make a lot of sense.

2.The actors clearly did their best but I think they need more experience. It didn't have that kind of effortless flow seen in other dramas

3.The costumes...were not good, nor were the sets

4.There so many plot holes....and it was very predictable

Overview:

Li Fuling/Ling'er is a young girl who is best friends with a guy, Tianjun. He is receiving education at the star court, along with another guy, Tianyi. There personalities are night and day. Tianjun is kind, honorable and respectable. Tianyi is ruthless and stoops to low means to achieve his ends. He seems like a bad guy. But there is a reason for this: Tianyi inherited the throne of wingkingdom at a young age. Worse, he was told he would never get wings (something needed to ascend the throne). His uncle, the regent, appears to want him dead. On the other hand, Tianjun's mother, the empress of humankind, is very ruthless however this means Tianjun never had to get his hands dirty...

These are the central characters in the show. Everything goes back to Ling'er, who happens to be the incarnation of the shooting stars flower goddess. Legend says that when she is united with her mortal lover (also incarnated) she will release pollen, giving the wingkind the ability to fly but unfortunately she will turn to ash.

As the story progeses, she and Tianyi fall in love. He also happens to be her incarnated lover. But because he wants her to live, he tries to put distance between them. On the other hand, because of a series of events, Tianjun descends into madness and becomes obsessed with forcing Ling'er to be by his side.

This is the story of these people. There are a number of subplots, related to the empress and Ling'er's father, a young man named Yu, and a princess of the sky kingdom.

What I liked:
Excluding memory loss, so many dramatic plot devices are used in this series. And so many people die in this series. It was also a different story. So i gave it a shot.

What I hated:
The show did not have a lot of depth. The characters were pretty 1 dimensional, the villains weren't well developed. This is because of the script, I think. The actors did their best, but need a few years to improve. It is clearly targeting a younger demographic.

What I REALLY hated:
the ending song. It has absolutely no place in this series. I also hated the poor editing.

My overall opinion:
Watch this show for something light. If you don't compare it to other shows and don't expect much it can be a fun watch.

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Xi Die Yuan Yang
4 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2016
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 5.0
I liked the prequel much more, and I think that may make me biased towards this. Also, the multiple love lines seemed to be a bit too much. I would have instead preferred 50 episodes of Su Huan Er and our lovely male lead in the first half. They could have created an epic love story but instead kept it short at 25 episodes (sigh....). Again, it could have been the length of Prince of Lan Ling, which it sometimes reminded me of.

I will be honest, I fast forwarded through a lot of these episodes to watch the scenes with the leads in the previous season. I did like that there were some unconventional relationships, such as a prostitute and a wealthy man, and a noble woman with a non-noble/servant (doctor) but it was just not enough to capture my heart....or my interest.

Because I fast forwarded, please treat this review with a grain of salt--some of you may watch this and love it. This is just my opinion.

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A Frozen Flower
3 people found this review helpful
Apr 24, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
What I Liked:
Sex is not filmed in a gratuitous way. Some people were surprised by the sex in this film, but it plays an enormous role in the story. Consider: the stability of the kingdom right now depends on the production of an heir. Internal rebellions and attempts to assassinate the king, even ministers petition that he abdicate, are causing chaos. Everyone knows that the king is interested in men, not women. They know the head of his personal guard is the one warming his bed at night, and this is why there is no heir.

The Queen's most important duty is producing an heir. She can't do that because the king cannot fill his end of the bargain. But to protect his image, she blames herself publicly so he does not lose face. She must endure so much humiliation because of him.

Then, to add insult to injury, he sends his favorite lover to bed her! Why he thought this was a good idea, is anyone's guess. Still, the Queen for the first time experienced physical passion and the Guard, well, he realizes that maybe he has been ill used by the king. After all, he has groomed him since he was quite young, and maybe he is only sharing the king's bed because he feels he must, out of obligation. Out of respect and a different kind of love...but he has never questioned it until now....It's also kind of twisted how the king could even ask him to do this....he just wants the child she has to look like him which is kind of romantic but so...selfish.

What I liked:
How each time he came to her bed, he essentially worshiped her body. I don't know if he insta-fell in love with her or if he just didn't want her to feel uncomfortable, but he tried to make her feel good and focused on her needs which was really nice considering she didn't want to be there and neither did he (I guess that changed...)

Also....the feeling of watching him fall in love with her and thinking THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL....but not caring....So sad...It isn't like he can break up with the king and be with her...and how he tries to steal glimpses of her....*sigh*

What I Loved:
When the Queen took the initiative! She was taking back control of her body! Especially in a time when women had zero control in those matters!

What I found to be REALLY Strange:
The emperor sat outside and listened to them have sex. Why would you subject yourself to that?

Overall Opinion:

The acting was great. It's hard to make a film with this much sex not seem like it is being exploitative. It was filmed very beautifully. The emotions were captured well. It was very well done. The only other film that I have seen with this amount of sex in it that was also able to film sex without it being exploitative was Monster's Ball (an American Film) obviously a very different film but still very good.

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Gu Family Book
4 people found this review helpful
May 14, 2016
Overall 6.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 4.5
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 5.5
I thought this drama was below average. I liked the idea/plot but I did not think that the actors executed it well. I especially did not like the second half. It felt very campy-- when I think they were going for something more lighthearted--and trust me, I know campy as I watch a lot of wuxia. I would like to see a sequel but not in the modern era/instead I would like to see something about the father--and his fate.

In addition to the plot, I found the plot devices to be poorly executed. Yes, kdramas recycle plots a lot but that doesn't bother me. It just felt very forced and not very genuine. But I think a lot of people disagree with me and that is perfectly fine. Not everyone likes the same stuff.

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Miss No Good
2 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2016
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
I found this show to be hysterical. I really, really liked how eccentric she was and it was interesting given the male lead's utterly snobbish personality. He clearly did not know what to make of her. Kind of like Nodame Cantible.

The romance seemed a little rushed at the end--maybe if they had given it 20 episodes it would have been better.
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Perfect Couple
2 people found this review helpful
May 21, 2016
Overall 6.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 1.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
I watched every episode--if you doubt me check the discussion board in which i comment on every single episode. In order to avoid bias, my individual episode reviews were rated up one point.

I think that when this show turned into a melodrama, it began to capture my interest. I also think that the character of Housekeeper--their cousin--is what saves this show from being a total disgrace. I think that every character in this show had moments where they performed okay but overall the performances were lacking, and most of this I attribute to the script. I don't think that the two leads had a great deal of chemistry, but watch for yourself and judge.

I think this show is one of the most inconsistent shows, filled with painful comedy, even more painful music (that often ruined my ability to enjoy the show), and some of the most random and unnecessary filler that has graced television. The show was sometimes excellent, but most of the time it was mediocre or downright awful.

If you are looking for a light comedy, this show will eventually disappoint you as it turns into a melodrama. If you are looking for drama, this show will disappoint you with its slap-stick humor. If anything this show was like missing soda, cereal, and peanut butter in a blender--on their own, these are great but when mixed together it is just nasty. This show had no balance.

I give it a 6.0 overall. But I did rate some episodes as high as an 8.0 (remember, I added a point, so technically a 7.0 because i was rating the show against itself). However, a lot of people genuinely loved this show, so I encourage you to read the other reviews and watch the show yourself to see what you think. I wanted to drop this show but this was a personal challenge, to try something different.

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Autumn's Concerto
2 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2016
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Don't know why 'family' is a tag for this. More like epic soap opera of awesome. They used I think every single plot device for a soap opera and pulled it off.

This is strange, but I liked that they had a female lead with darker skin--it was refreshing. I also kind of like the sadistic nature of the male lead--I know a lot of people object to this. But I like what I like.

I thought the two had such amazing chemistry that I actually checked to see if they were dating in real life. And I was utterly shocked (pleasantly) to see an actual bed scene--it blew me away because asian dramas are sooo strict about this.

And my god was that kid adorable. I did sometimes find her passive role to be annoying, but it worked with his extremely...emo and angry personality. He was very mad at the world, and his treatment of her in the second half, was so interesting to watch because he wanted to punish her but it was clearly a ploy to keep her near him and finding reasons to keep her around.

I think he steals the show because her role was so passive. But I liked that the show made an effort to address sexual harassment/rape but it was interesting too given the male leads own questionable treatment of the female lead. I can't say if it was grounded in reality or merely expoitive or appealing to fantasy but it got me, hook line and sinker.

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It Started with a Kiss
1 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
My first foreign drama, so naturally this is biased. I have rewatched this many times. I think this one is at the top not because of the story, but the extreme attention to detail. These actors actually act like they are in high school, and the supporting cast is amazing, making it perfect. I found it to be very entertaining, laugh out loud funny, and moving. I especially enjoyed the interactions between Ariel and Joe, who had great on screen dating.

I liked how smart Zhi Shu was but how utterly awkward he was in relationships, but because of his beauty, he hides behind a cool and distant demeanor. I think he likes Ariel because of her fearlessness.

I do think that this show is interesting in that we have a female stalker, essentially, but because she is a woman no one is bothered by it//were it reversed everyone would be like oh my god stalker guy!

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Cuo Dian Yuan Yang
1 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2016
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I just finished Journey of Flower and was looking for something new to watch. This is not like journey of flower, but still good. I certainly think the actress reminds me of Ariel Lin at times. Not too campy. A bonus is that there is really no love triangle with the leads (yay!).

1. It drags a little around episode 16, which felt kind of like a filler episode. I also disliked the opening song and thought the youngest brother was kind of annoying/campy.

2.On the left, we have Shi Wu Ji who is brutal, cold, and wears the same black robes as if to communicate he is someone whom one does not f*** with. He is 29. Revenge is his game, as his entire family minus siblings were murdered during a fire. What makes him a bit more human are the little things, like the fact that he has no sense of direction and easily gets lost and won't admit it, but remains silently serious while others tease him--

3.On the right, we have Su Huan Er/Lang Yiu, who is 18, and is the ignored and unrecognized daughter of a very conniving, money hungry man. She is described as 'servant' but is more like a lady's companion to her sister Huan Er whose place she takes to marry Shu Wi Ji. She is both unconventional, incredibly cute, impudent, and yet not annoying (rare, to play this role and not be annoying). She is not perfect, and has an agenda of her own, and wants to protect her family because her father now recognizes her. She firmly believes he is innocent.

4.Shu Wi Ji suspects that the Su family is responsible for his parents deaths. This is revealed in the first episode. Hence his marriage is more about revenge, i.e. finding a way to spy more easily on the family.

5.The romance builds nicely, and at a refreshingly quick pace but given the first half is 25 episodes, it makes sense. It is nice to see Shu Wi Ji go all god of war when his beloved Su Huan Er is in danger.

6.I watched this for the romance--there was a lot of on screen hugging, kissing, make-out scenes and references to love making and then the screen would of course go dark and not show us what they were doing...but we knew *grins* at one point he actually says that he has to show her how he feels with his body and then he carries her to the bed xoxoxo AND the female lead is a little aggressive in her kissing/not submissive :D

To sum up, I adored the male leads icy bad assness and the female leads bubbly personality and to watch them both change and and grow together. At last, a male lead who is not afraid to talk about feelings! He clearly struggles to express himself....I have been following this actress ever since I watched Journey of Flower and thus far have not been disappointed//when she called Shu Wi Ji it sometimes sounded like Shifu to me lolz

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The Imperial Doctress
1 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2016
Overall 5.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
I really, really wanted to like this. I think this drama is sort of you like it or don't, based on the reviews. I found the female lead's acting to be so flat and dull that I wondered if it was part of her character or if I was missing something. This actress has done well in other dramas, so I dunno what happened here.

I enjoyed the idea of a complicated romance, where things don't exactly turn out the way you want. I thought it was filmed beautifully, and the emphasis on a woman in a non-traditional field was somewhat realistic.

The pacing was slow, but usually slow pacing means a lot of clever dialogue and character development....I kept waiting and waiting...and no. I had to force myself to finish.

They heavily referred to the confuscius rules that made life hellish for women, which I liked because sometimes I think dramas ignore this bit of reality, but after a while it became redundant.

I liked the inclusion of tribal peoples. I found the ending to be weak, and her utter lack of expression was not satisfying. It did not seem to fit her character well. I think a lot of people will disagree with me, which is fine. I don't think that they should have picked Wallace for the lead because I think the short amount of time available to him to film may have impacted the story. Or not and I am just wrong.

To sum up, I think the best thing was the lovely scenes/costumes but this is so normal in dramas that it seems hardly worth commenting on.

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The Journey of Flower
2 people found this review helpful
May 13, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
This is a drama that deeply explores themes of obsession. It is a 'forbidden love' story between Bones, a girl who was born with an unlucky fate, and her shifu (her blood also causes flowers to die, probably a metaphor). Incidentally, she is Bai Zhu Hua's fated calamity. A calamity is a trial that one can only survive by killing without hesitation (all this you learn in episode 1). Failure to do so inevitably results in tragedy. It seems they are fated to be foes. Because Bai Zhu Hua falls in love with Bones, he tries to find a way to save her (it is my opinion it is love at first site, because his episodes of jealousy occur very early on in the series) by teaching her to cultivate and be more like himself. Bai Zhu Hua is rather emotionless, so he is able to conceal these feelings very well, even he does not realize that his actions are motivated by love until much later. Alas, she is also falls in love with him and struggles with hiding these forbidden feelings. This wuxia tells their story and their struggles (she suffers the most, in my opinion). In addition to the love story, there are several important subplots all related to the overall theme of obsession, like revenge, and jealousy.

What I Liked:
1. As my first 'wuxia' this series opened up a whole new world for me. I loved the costumes, the fantasy, and I enjoyed learning about things like cultivation. It wasn't until later, watching other series, that I learned these are common themes and essentially define a wuxia. Prior to this, I almost exclusively watched Kdramas. Not so much anymore.

2.The subplots were all entertaining; I enjoyed that the Holy Ruler was not the actual villain of the show. I also enjoyed his shameless narcissism. In many ways he is a foil to Bai Zhu Hua. I liked the sets, the costumes.

3.This drama is able to achieve a nice balance between comedy and melodrama, I think because they left most of the comedy for early on in the show and then steadily built in plots that increasingly made the show more serious. Once things became serious we saw hardly any comedy.

What I Loved
4. The transformation of Bones from a sweet, adorable, at times extremely dense girl into an extremely resilient woman, overcoming some of the most awful trials, all because of her ill-fated love. I mean people really have it in for her. This transformation continues as she also turns into a very direct, at times ruthless woman, something that she didn't necessarily wish to be but was forced to become in order to survive. She finally reaches a point where she eschews the rules and values of everyone else in order to protect herself.

5.The steady deterioration of Bai Zhu Hua's image. He is the leader of a sect dedicated to protecting the world. Words like pure, perfect, god-like, and selfless are constantly used to describe his person. But as the series progresses we see that there is an extremely dark side to his personality (very subtly presented): his selfishness and greed can be compared to no one. He does everything in his power to keep Bones at his side, even if it means placing her in painful situations, insisting he is doing it for her, but truthfully he is doing it for himself. He can't let her go, he can't allow anyone else to have her, and so he traps her in this hell all the while presenting himself as her respected Shifu. Very devious. Even more so because he believes his own lies. I mean it isn't like he is two-faced, pretending to be nice and then behind the scenes the mask comes off. He really believes his own b.s.

6.The final confrontation produced feelings that I have not felt from any other dram. It was extremely satisfying because I think it showcased who Bones was, and where she was coming from, and it also completely showed Bai Zhu Hua's true colors.

What I hated
7.This series has the annoying trope of 'every man loves the female lead'. Those who don't fall in love with her (with the exception of maybe two people) are either in love with someone else or despise her for reasons that are never really explained.

8.The women in the show (with the exception of one or two) all detest the female lead. If they don't in the beginning they wind up hating her. And with the exception of 1, it is never really explained. It seems to be a case of stereotypical female jealousy. I would be exhausted hating someone for that long.

Final Notes
This may be the only drama that I have seen where I would have been okay with the leads never getting together because Bai Zu Hua was such a great villain. He was meticulously created and I think designed to make the viewer at first like him but by the end you hover between feelings of revulsion and outright hate. He is just unforgivable and the best part is he is so subtly evil! This isn't a guy who is violent or disrespectful to our leading lady. He has hardly any lines. But he is just...awful. If you watch 3 Lives 3 worlds 10 mile peach blossom you might see parallels between Fengjiu and Bones and Mo Yuan/Shifu (in terms of personality; these characters have no romantic links).
This show is based off of a popular novel. I am still looking for a full translation, but here is a link to what I have found so far: https://dorayakiz.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-journey-of-flower-author-fresh-guo-guo/

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The Tag-Along
0 people found this review helpful
May 16, 2017
Overall 6.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
What I Liked:

The music was good. The acting was descent. Being a lover of supernatural horror there was no gore or blood. The general premise was interesting: first Aunt Shui goes missing. Returns. Grandma goes missing. Returns. Boyfriend goes missing. Next is the search in the mountains to see what is going on/the source.

What I didn't like:
I thought that the reason behind the disappearances was very weak. It isn't the legend but more like how they incorporated it into the storyline. There is no real reason for why this family would be targeted. It seemed completely random. If there was an explanation worked in, then I would consider it a better plot. But because they did not address that, it felt weak to me.

Would I recommend?
Yes, for people who are looking for a light horror (light because the ending is happy; no one dies).

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Creepy
0 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2017
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 7.5
What I Liked:

There was no excessive blood or gore. The acting was very good. There is a difference in the second half in terms of the direction it takes. I am very good at guessing the end, and while I had an idea of two ways that it might end, because of some of the events that occur in the final 10 minutes I thought I had it figured it out...but I didn't. And that I liked. I liked the end too. It was very satisfying.

I also liked the portrayal of the villain in addition to his interactions with the neighbors. I enjoyed the way the story slowly opened up, and I thought it was interesting how the film in many ways was about the male lead coming into his own again.

What I disliked:
I thought there were a few strange inconsistencies in the story. One of the points the drama makes is the fact that the detective is very smart and is very educated in police matters, including the FBI in the states and their profiling techniques. That said, I thought it was strange that the police department never made a note of him as a consultant, which you can do. He was working with another detective on the side, but because of safety, typically you want to document everything, including where you visit if you are on the job, or following a lead, for safety issues. Some people don't do this in the show, and that made no sense to me.

What was odd:
I found it difficult to understand the detectives wife. I truly could not understand how her opinion of the neighbor seemed to change given how clearly bizarre and weird his behavior was. He did a lot of little things that makes you want to stay away from him, like invading your personal space and making weird requests.

Overall:
I would re-watch it and thought it was interesting, especially because of the acting ands script and the fact that there was hardly any blood or violence (although be warned, people die)(and there is no showing of torture or anything like that, which I like). it was a very psychological film.

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Thriller
0 people found this review helpful
May 15, 2017
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
I love supernatural films. However, I did not love this one.

What I Liked
The film was an anthology and the quality was fairly good. I liked the idea of the writer who struggles with writing, and the other man who appears to 'help him' write. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't go into it but it was a fun idea. I also liked the homage paid to older horror films (Like The Shining) (or Frankenstein) and the weirdness of some of the stories--they were very surreal/a little strange at times. This I all appreciated.

What I disliked
As interesting of an idea as the story was, I did not like the execution. The first story I thought the acting wasn't so great and some things were a little odd (like the guy who watches the shining in the pitch black basement of a hospital?) and the second story was a little slow.

Overall,
It is an okay horror film but don't expect anything like Noroi The Curse or Ju-On. This isn't really a 'ghost' story China doesn't really allow the portrayal of ghosts in their films, I think, because of superstition and censorship laws. This is essentially a psychological horror featuring stories where circumstance or events kind of drives people to go crazy, a theme of the film. In terms of tone, the only type of film that I can think that relates to it is something like Creepshow (Stephen King) or Thirst (Korea) in terms of oddness but without the dark humor as it is a more serious film intended for an older audience. Just don't expect the same level of story telling.

I don't think I would re-watch it, which is huge for me, as I re-watch horror films constantly. There is blood but really no gore and of course this is nothing like the very dark violent films you might sometimes see coming out of Korea (I saw the Devil).

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