Enchanting Shadow (1960)

aka Ching nu yu hun
Article 2864 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-11-2009
Posting Date: 6-16-2009
Directed by Han Hsiang Li
Featuring Betty Loh Ti, Ngai Fung, LI Jen Ho
Country: Hong Kong

A traveler stays for a few nights at a haunted temple. At night he encounters a beautiful ghost who attempts to seduce him. He resists, but finds himself under the wrath of the ghost of the woman’s bloodthirsty grandmother.

The only other horror movie from Hong Kong that I’ve seen is REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES, but these two movies couldn’t be further apart. This is from a much earlier era, and it is an evocative film, as much a fairy tale as a ghost story. As always, it’s interesting to see movies from other countries; the color photography here is breathtaking, though the camerawork is a hair shaky on occasion, and the use of sound is exotic and truly strange. The atmosphere is quite thick, especially during the scene when the traveler awaits the arrival of the grandmother’s ghost in the room of a swordsman, and the final encounter in a forest. In some ways, the experience of watching this one can’t be adequately described, though the movie it most reminds me of is KWAIDAN. It’s a difficult movie to find, but is worth digging up.

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