Open the Coffin is a 2022 Chinese supernatural mystery film with a detective investigating murders that seem to be the result of a curse.
Directed by Cheng Siyi. The movie stars Han Dong, Jiang Chao, Zhou Xiaoou, He Zhonghua, Tong Lei and Zhang Jinan.
Despite a trailer that presents it as a Tomb Raider-type horror flick, Open the Coffin is actually a well-shot and edited detective-based murder mystery with creepy elements and a few jump scares. It’s not quite in the same league as Korean cinema although it strives to be. Director Cheng Siyi is clearly more talented than his compatriots.
The Chinese communist party doesn’t allow “feudal superstition” in films (and let’s face it, there is no basis for anything supernatural in reality, despite the fun of presenting it onscreen) so there was always going to be a rational explanation for everything ala’ Scooby-Doo. Anyone expecting anything else doesn’t understand the restrictions on Chinese genre cinema decreed by po-faced politicos who fear dark entertainment fun.
Ignoring the obvious censorship restrictions, Open the Coffin is one of the better Chinese thrillers in recent times and worth watching. Just don’t be hoodwinked by the trailer that missells it as a horror movie. And yes, we fell into that trap too.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
开棺 “Open the Coffin”
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