AKA: Eerie Silk
Year of release: 2006
Director: Su Chao-Pin
Action director: Stephen Tung
Producer: Jo Yeh
Writer: Su Chao-Pin
Cinematography: Arthur Wong
Editing: Cheung Ka-Fai
Music: Peter Kam
Stars: Chang Chen, Karena Lam, Eguchi Yosuke, Barbie Hsu, Wilson Chen, Janine Chang, Ma Chi-Chun, Leon Dai
Rated IIB for violence and language
Movie Review Index
The Taiwanese horror picture Silk does a bit of a different take on your usual Asian ghost movie. In some ways, it succeeds and delivers some unexpected thrills and excitement, which helps to set it apart from the pack of the standard "I see dead people" fare. Unfortunately, though, it still succumbs to too many of the usual pitfalls of the genre, ultimately making this an interesting, yet flawed, motion picture that should please die-hard fans of this type of movie, but may leave general audiences wanting more.
Mainland star Chang Chen is the center of Silk, playing Yeh Qi Tung, a policeman who has quickly risen through the ranks due to his keen eyesight and no-nonsense attitude. It is these attributes that garner the attention of Hashimoto (Eguchi Yosuke), a scientist working for the Japanese government. Hashimoto's research focuses on anti-gravity, and he sees the energy contained around ghosts as the key. Yeh joins Hashimoto's team and begins an investigation into a ghost they have captured. As Yeh develops his case, he quickly begins to realize that Hashimoto has other, and more devious, reasons behind the intensity of his research.
There is an intensity and grittiness to Silk that is much appreciated by this semi-drunken reviewer, who often chafes at the over-the-top melodrama and general cheesiness that is all often thrust into the audience's maw front and center in your standard Chinese ghost picture. There are the usual expected plot twists thrown into the mix, but here, they feel more organic and natural instead of the thinly-veiled velvet gauntlet of misplaced and overused community film college tropes normally all too often not softly plopped upon viewers' collective ocular cavities.
In the end, though, Silk doesn't truly bring rise up to the level of the better Asian horror movies. This is a well-made film overall, but it doesn't go far enough. It feels too confined under the IIB/PG13 barrier. That may be a particular feeling coming from your friendly neighborhood reviewer who has had a steady diet of video nasty Category III fare, but Silk ends up feeling like a good deal of wasted potential, making this more fare for a rainy day rental, rather than essential mandatory viewing material.