New Chinese thriller breaks bad stereotype

Updated: 2014-08-09 07:27

By Liu Zhihua (China Daily)

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New Chinese thriller breaks bad stereotype

A scene fromThe House That Never Dies, which is one of the most successful productions on the Chinese mainland. [Photos provided to China Daily]

New Chinese thriller breaks bad stereotype


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In fact, the movie has become so popular that a group of adventure seekers have visited the old mansion in downtown Beijing that inspired the movie, which tells the stories of two generations living in the house. The director and crew weren't allowed to shoot in the house itself, so they used replica sets constructed in a studio.

Zhang Zixuan, a fan who saw the movie shortly after it was released, said its popularity lies in the well-plotted, overlapping storylines, scary sound effects, an all-star cast, and most importantly, 3-D presentation.

The success of The House That Never Dies is a far cry from 2002, when the domestic movie market began growing rapidly and Chinese horror movies invariably scored low ratings and attracted huge amounts of criticism.

"Horror movies are supposed to feature scenes that will terrify the audience, but domestic horror movies are not scary at all," says Zhang Ting, a 27-year-old from Qingdao, Shandong province. "I just don't understand why people make such bad movies," she said.

On movie websites, Chinese horror films often score ratings below six, usually falling into the two to four bracket, out of 10, and often attract comments such as "crudely shot", "ridiculous", "an insult to my IQ", and "boring".

Yet, despite their terrible reputation, dozens of such movies are made in China every year, and in 2012 the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television approved more than 200 for filming, according to Mtime, a popular movie website. Why? Well, the reason is simple - these movies make money.