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#IMBD : 6.2/10 (English Title) / 7.7/10 (Mandarin Title)
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Oh my gosh, since the Blair Witch Project 1999 and then Paranormal Activity 2007, more and more movies are using VCR-documentary style filming. But, in the movie, this sort of method further diluted the clarity of the scene, and many a time I was lost due to such blurry scenes. Especially, the rooftop scene where Duo Duo found the VCR 6 years ago, I was so lost, not realising why the mom was so angry because Duo Duo watched the video in the room. Then, for the scenes on the flashback of 6 years ago, mixing of different ways of filming really confused and tired me out. That’s the main reason I lost focus at the end. Documentary style filming is by far one of the riskiest ways to make a movie, but if successful, it would be worthwhile. But, some audiences like me, really dislike such a way of presenting a good movie.
As the movie ran about 3 hours, a lot of the scenes were actually linked, but due to the long screen time, audiences including me might get a bit lost throughout. A good movie should be well-narrated, so that the audiences could follow the storyline. Unfortunately, the director decided to use his own sweet time to talk about the dark consequences messing around with the Black Mom Buddha.
In the early scene, the social worker grand lady passed a talisman to Duo Duo for protection. It was a while later that she swallowed a burning glass pewter as a revenge from Black Mom Buddha. When the psychiatrist was shown of the VCR video, she was cursed. But only in the very next scene, it was suggested that the psychiatrist was the white silhouette when they were trapped in the loop. All of these scenes were only recapped by me after the movie. No clear indications that those scenes were related, but in fact, they were.
As for the main character, she acted to be a great mom to save her dying daughter, and spread her situation to online audiences so that we all would pray for her. Even at the end, I still saw her as a superstitious poor lady who sacrificed others and maybe herself for the sake of her daughter.
This was not the real case, as some observant audiences noticed that all her actions were contradicting because her main aim was for self-salvation by using her daughter as pawn against Black Mom Buddha. In her defense, I think mainly was the director trying to mask her notoriety to keep the mystery for the film. But, if the director was more willing to show her selfish and evil sides in some scenes, I believe this would give more impacts and understandings to the audiences. There are also a lot scenes were not thoroughly explained, like why she needed to break the mirrors in the cave temple, and returning offerings.
Conclusion and Superstition
The ending was a total disappointment. Because Chinese communities and cultures are always revolving around superstitions, and these “bad apples” were catalysts to many mishaps and misfortune. Such an ending from the film not only suggested that Black Mom Buddha was real, it also encouraged people to believe in such an omen! If the director was to use the incident from 2005 real event as a lesson, shouldn’t the movie be a conclusion to end superstition?
Incident from 2005 was concluded that the family experienced hallucination illness! Now, with such a movie ending, isn’t this intensify the belief to the unseen? I was hoping that the ending comes with a clear message that it was the mother who suffered from extreme superstition thereby driven to harm those around her who wished to help!
#Explanation #Confusion #Storyline #Superstition #RewriteEnding #Ending #BadEnding