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]

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According to China Daily's Raymond Zhou, a respected critic, the form often deals with hidden fears and terror of the unknown, such as ghosts, aliens and cold-eyed killers, and has solid fan base among teenagers and young adults.

There's a theory that horror films and thrillers are the best movies for couples on dates, because few things are more romantic than snuggling up while watching a scary movie, Zhou adds.

Lu Shaoyang, a movie critic and dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Peking University, says horror movies are an important and successful genre in many countries, including the United States, because they are relatively cheap to shoot, but can easily generate high profits.

In China, the genre has developed rapidly in the past decade, even though there is no mature production mechanism capable of raising investment and producing good screenplays, such as that seen in Hollywood, according to Lu.

Chen Hui, founder and general manager of Fujian Heng Ye Film Distribution Co, is fully aware of the opportunities and challenges that accompany the production and distribution of horror movies in China.

When the company was established seven years ago, it employed fewer than 10 people, but now it's one of the largest private producers and distributors of movies in the country. It's fortune has been built on the horror genre.

Born in the 1970s, Chen started managing cinemas in 1995, and quickly realized that Chinese audiences, especially the younger generation, wanted to see horror movies, but there were few on the market. In response, he established Fujian Heng Ye in 2007.