Seventh Moon (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror
Lions Gate || R - 87 minutes - $29.99 || October 6, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-09


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Eduardo Sanchez
Writer(s): Jamie Nash and Eduardo Sanchez (story), Eduardo Sanchez (screenplay)
Cast: Amy Smart


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

On the full moon of the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open and the spirits of the dead are freed to roam among the living. – Chinese myth

Eduardo Sanchez’s Seventh Moon is a part spooky, part creepy supernatural horror-thriller based on a Chinese myth. You might ask, “Who is Eduardo Sanchez?” Mr. Sanchez was the co-director/co-writer of 1999’s overrated – but wildly successful – horror phenomenon, The Blair Witch Project.

Seventh Moon stars Amy Smart as Melissa who is on her honeymoon with hubby Yul (Tim Chiou) in his homeland of China. They take in some sights, take obnoxious photos of one another and just have a happy good old time before they set to meet Yul’s family. Unfortunately for the cheerful newlyweds, their tour guide (further proof you should never trust a man named Ping), who was supposed to drive them for the family meet, gets “lost” and abandons them in a desolate village.

Even more unfortunate is the fact this is on the night of the Seventh Moon in which those who believe the myth leave live sacrifices for some pale phantoms to take in exchange for sparing their own lives. Melissa and Yul try to find safe haven especially after they run into one of these phantoms, who are naked. What do they want? Your soul. I like that. Simple and to the point. No revenge. No tragic childhood. They take you. They kill you. You become one of them.

Admittedly, I had very low expectations with the latest slate of “Ghost House Underground” indie horror movie line, but Seventh Moon actually was a pretty scary movie. It has some slow and boring parts for sure, and even a couple “wtf” moments as well, but those aside, this isn’t too bad of a low budget horror flick.

What I especially enjoyed was the fact co-writer/co-director Sanchez doesn’t dwell too much on the back story of the phantoms. They are just part of a long running Chinese myth. No more explaination needed and thus more time to scare the audience. Oh, and giving the lovely Amy Smart just about every frame of the movie didn’t hurt either...

Speaking of Smart, as with most horror movies (supernatural or slasher), you’re not going to get a whole lot of character development nor opportunities for the cast – leads especially – to show anything off (what has Neve Campbell done lately?). With that said, I thought she did a decent job with what she had to do. She runs around, asks questions such as “What was that?” and does a little fighting, but her screen presence makes it more bearable than if they had chosen an unknown since she had to carry the film from beginning to end. I’m not sure if she is an astounding actress by any means, but she is capable and has gained some notoriety for her saucy and racy roles in the two Crank movies as well as a few memorable roles on “Scrubs”, The Butterfly Effect and Starsky & Hutch.

Taking the praise aside, I don’t want to over exaggerate things with how good this movie is. It does have some issues with pacing early on (and towards the third act as well) and, let’s face it, a simple script. This isn’t the next great supernatural horror-thriller or anything, nor is it one that will gain cult status, but for what the filmmakers’ set out to do, I think Seventh Moon was successful. I’m not saying I would watch it again anytime soon, but as far as indie horror flicks go, it’s not that bad.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director/Writer Eduardo Sanchez and Actress Amy Smart – The two provide a low-key commentary talking about filming in Hong Kong and various aspects of filming.

Ghosts of Hong Kong: The Making of Seventh Moon (11:45) – This is a basic, very behind-the-scenes look at how the film was made (scouting locations, practicing for fight scenes, make-up, etc) in China. Most of it is filmed with a camera and there’s not much in the way of comments from the cast or crew, kind of a fly on the wall vibe to it.

The Pale Figures (5:20) examines how the phantoms were created including concept artwork to the final make-up we see on screen while the producer explains what he wanted from them like wanting to stay away from the zombie look.

Mysteries of the Seventh Lunar Month (7:38) takes a look at the myth centered around the movie. It looks like an older film that you would’ve watched in school.

Lastly, there’s something called Ghost House Micro Videos (2:55) which is just a fast paced trailer set to metal rock and the red band trailer (1:09) to the film.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Seventh Moon is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition, not that you could really tell outside of the first 5-minutes or so (during daytime scenes). The opening scenes actually looked pretty good. The scenes are sharp, crisp and fairly clean but once the film goes into night shots, things get dicey. First, car scenes where the actors are lit with a blue light on the floor show plenty of pixilation while other night shots just did not look good. Heck, even at the end, when we’re finally out of the night shots, had plenty of noise, no doubt due to the film’s low budget.

The movie comes with a nice, though slightly low-key, 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. While the dialogue sounds good and there seemed to be a nice mixture of audio coming from all the channels, including ambient noises such as cracking branches or leaves rustling.



.::OVERALL::.

I know some people utterly hated Seventh Moon but I thought it was effective enough for my taste. The Blu-ray doesn’t feature the greatest video transfer (partially due to the low budget and night shooting) and the audio isn’t pulse pounding, but good enough. If you can find it for less than $10 (which you should within 3 months or so), then it might be worth picking up.