Psych-Hunter (2020) poster
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,250 users
# of Watchers: 5,377
Reviews: 18 users
Ranked #1837
Popularity #2657
Watchers 1,250

Jiang Shuo is in the business of buying haunted houses and selling them. He crosses paths with Qin Yi Heng, a psychologist searching for his father, and Yuan Mu Qing who is the daughter of a warlord. Together, they partner up to fight against mysterious forces. Jiang Shuo suffers from amnesia but is well-versed in the affairs of the occult. Qin Yi Heng receives a letter that contains the countdown to Jiang Shuo's time of death and evidence of his father's abduction when he went missing one year ago, sealed with the six-finger seal. Qin Yi Heng becomes determined to track down the only clue that might lead him back to his father. Jiang Shuo is able to use Zhuyoushu to enter another person's psychological time and space. With only a limited time and threats from the defense mechanisms of a person's psyche, Jiang Shuo puts himself at great risk each time he tries to find clues that will help him uncover answers. Fortunately, Qin Yi Heng's psychological prowess and female constable Yuan Mu Qing's fighting skills are ready to back him up. (Source: ChineseDrama.info) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Haunted Houses Handbook" (凶宅笔记) by Er Shi San (贰十三). Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: Nov 23, 2020 - Dec 16, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 1,250 users)
  • Ranked: #1837
  • Popularity: #2657
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Psych-Hunter

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
WandereR
45 people found this review helpful
Dec 17, 2020
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

Enter Sandman

I’ve always loved mysteries and detective dramas, especially with a refreshingly unique concept and innovative approach to investigations of cases. Even better if it has elements of friendship and bromance or sismance, while romance is optional because there are already so many romance-fuelled dramas out there and we need more of the other stuff for a change. I’m positively thrilled to attest that this drama has all of the above qualities (minus sismance but plus romance).

Psych-Hunter is a supernatural mystery and psychological thriller adapted from the novel Haunted Houses Handbook (凶宅笔记) by Er Shi San (贰十三) which was published in 2013. As I understand from readers of the novel, the adaptation is modified slightly pertaining to the main characters’ backstory and the inclusion of a romance arc, hence the FL is added in the screenplay. It is directed by Li Ze Lu (李泽露), who had directed the similarly-themed Tomb of the Sea (of the Lost Tomb franchise), and his experience in this genre really shines through.

What makes this show truly fascinating is not only the fusion of investigation procedural with traditional Chinese beliefs, mythology and the art of geomancy (Feng Shui), but also the practice of “exploring the psyche” aka Zhuyoushu (where one completely immerses within the psyche of the subject in a subconscious state, as opposed to mind reading). Having this concept set in the Republican period in China is appropriate as this particular era is steeped in moral ambiguity and intense fear of superstitions, folklore and mysticism, all of which enhances the paranormal vibes of the mysteries being investigated.

The drama showcases high production values through outstanding art direction, lavish Republican era settings and beautiful costumes – in particular the smart police uniforms, extravagant evening gowns and the bespoke 3-piece suits - along with generally fantastic cinematography and steady camerawork during action scenes. The framing of the intriguing abstract setting of the psyche world is visually stunning, and the steampunk outfit worn by the 2 leads during the hypnosis sequences is a nice touch.

The story centres on the friendship between the 3 leads and their investigations in Changshanzhou. Jiang Shou is adept at exploring the human psyche. Qin Yi Heng is the scion of the prominent Qin family and a skilled medical doctor. Yuan Mu Qing is a (self proclaimed) policewoman and daughter of the local warlord. The overarching plot is about Jiang Shuo’s unexplained memory loss, the disappearance of family, friends and others linked to the main villain known as Liu Zhi aka Six Fingers. In connection with the main mystery, our band of protagonists encounter no less than 15 mysterious cases in their pursuit of the villain, namely:

1.Feng Shui murders
2.The abduction
3.The horologist
4.The bizarre black cat
5.Mu Qing’s past
6.Game of death
7.Jiang Shuo’s psyche
8.The playboy
9.Movie studio murders
10. The mysterious village
11. Dead spirits’ post office
12. The riddle of the cheongsam
13. The haunted mansion
14. The tattoo conspiracy
15. The Rubik’s cube

Each case is infused with elements of horror, some more so than others, which puts a bit of scare in viewers. The story starts off briskly then settles at a steady pace, before reaching a frantic and thrilling climax. There are certain unexplained plot holes and loose threads that are left hanging along the way, but we still get the answers to the major question marks by the end. Somewhere past the halfway mark around episodes 22 to 27, the romance gets in the way somewhat unnecessarily with draggy fillers and certain characters - Jiang Shuo and Yuan Mu Qing being the chief culprits – momentarily losing their composure (and common sense). Fortunately, by episode 28, normal service resumes and the 3 friends re-focus on solving mysteries. The haunted mansion, the tattoo conspiracy and finally the Rubik’s cube mystery which brings closure to the overarching plot, are the most convoluted and action packed among all the cases and require much thinking to unravel the puzzle. The big reveal takes place right in the penultimate episode where at long last we learn the truth of who Liu Zhi really is. NOT TOTALLY UNEXPECTED YET SHOCKINGLY UNEXPECTED AT THE SAME TIME. Absolutely and utterly FREAKING MINDBLOWING. I will stop right here and not spoil it.

The main cast generally performed well, in particular Liu Dong Qin’s understated and naturally portrayed Qin Yi Heng. The actor subtly invokes the right dose of intelligence, stoicism, and vulnerability that elevated the portrayal of this very well written character to greater heights. The nuanced micro-expressions and overall exemplary acting really sets Liu Dong Qin apart from the rest of the cast and points to an extremely talented actor indeed. I’m tempted to follow his portfolio of work after this, notably his main role in Medical Examiner Dr Qin 2, and other future projects.

Hou Ming Hao is a popular actor who’s well known for many major roles, including the iconic character of Wu Xie in The Lost Tomb 2 so he is no stranger to this genre. His acting here is on point and fits well the role of Jiang Shuo – lively, witty, street-smart with a hint of mischief in his eyes, plus he cross-dresses very nicely indeed. Perhaps the only issue I have is the lack of consistency with the way the character is written, which is attributed primarily to the romance element written in involving him and Yuan Mu Qing. He somehow loses his edge and suffers from serious lapses of judgment for about 6 to 7 episodes. For the most part, including the amusing bromance between him and Qin Yi Heng, I’ve enjoyed Jiang Shou’s scenes which provides much entertainment value to the show.

Yuan Mu Qing is played by Zhu Xu Dan (Bambi), whom I last saw in Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Sabre (incidentally, the final episode here reminded me of her transformation in HSADSS). She’s an experienced actress who has been cast in a long list of dramas and I thought she did okay here as part of the investigative trio and is convincing as the pampered daughter of a warlord. However, her character suffers from the same inconsistent writing at various points in the show. At times she can be lethal with her martial arts, strong and smart, as befits a policewoman (even an auxiliary one) only to turn into a damsel in distress, and her extreme neediness to cling onto Jiang Shou did grate on the nerves a little. I’m generally indifferent to the romance arc, as long as it doesn’t disrupt the storytelling but unfortunately it did for a few episodes. Mercifully, her character grows out of it towards the end.

The OST features 4 tracks, including the energetic intro rock piece Hunter Heart, and the subdued and emotional Let Her Go as the closing theme, which is very beautifully sung. Track listing as follows:
1. Shin - Hunter Heart
2. Sean He, King - Let Her Go
3. Meng Zi Kun - Game of Happiness and Sadness
4. King - Empty Fortress

On the whole, Psych-Hunter is one of the better produced and extremely entertaining detective investigation dramas of the year that successfully integrates supernatural themes, traditional Chinese beliefs and cleverly conceived mysteries into a smartly condensed package, along with poignant moments of pure bromance. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and now that we have come to the end, I will truly miss this show. I’m not sure if there will be a season 2 but if not, hopefully another similar one comes along in the not too distant future.

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Completed
Kate
9 people found this review helpful
Aug 24, 2022
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 3.5

This had no business being this long.

Taking into consideration the unexpected, but extremely anticlimactic ending that made me regret ever starting this show, I’d say this should have never had more than 20 episodes.

Sometimes I’m fine with just the journey being the trip of a lifetime while watching dramas, even if the destination turns out to be a dumpster. Sadly, at some point the cases started to be boring. Visually speaking - beautiful. The innovative (yet extremely ridiculous) concept of psych gave the writer and director a free from jail pass to show the most wacky set designs and over the top representations of reality. But the plot itself? Ain’t special.

They set up this mysterious mastermind behind all the deaths in the city, told me he has some elaborate plan, and when we finally find out who he is and why he did what he did… I truly never saw a dumber plan ever. It made no sense. Did he want to fail? I just don’t understand why a good 80% of the plot happened - it was completely useless.

On the topic of useless - female lead. Why did she exist, except from getting in danger so Jiang Shuo can worry a little bit. The plot would not change even a little bit without her. And it’s not like she was awful - quite fun, loveable, energetic, enthusiastic. Does not change the fact she was there just for the sake of the romance, that was not needed anyway. What made me even more angry? She was shown to have some mad fighting scenes that she stopped using after a few episodes and literally any random person could overpower her.

The actual main duo Jiang Shuo and Qin Yi Heng were fun to watch, though I feel like most of the on screen chemistry happened on Liu Dong Qin's side. One could easily fool me, it's a censored romance type of a deal.

As I already said, visually speaking the show was amazing. I took almost 500 screen shots, I think that says it all. Especially liked a few horror elements in the earlier episodes. If only they improved the wire work and green screen - these, as basically a standard in Chinese dramas, were laughable.

The performances were solid. I don’t think any of the characters had enough depth for the actors to struggle with the delivery. Nothing seemed off.

Overall, I just get angry when I think about the ending. It hits too many things I dislike. Sadly, if one does not like this type of ending, it makes the whole drama seem pointless. that’s me - I feel like 90% of things that happened were pointless.

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Recent Discussions

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Details

  • Drama: Psych-Hunter
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: Nov 23, 2020 - Dec 16, 2020
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: iQiyi
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 1,250 users)
  • Ranked: #1837
  • Popularity: #2657
  • Watchers: 5,377

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