Minxiong Haunted House is a 2022 Taiwanese horror film based on an infamous real-life supposedly spooky dwelling.
Directed by Bang-yao Liu (Til Death Do Us Part) from a screenplay written by Chang Keng-ming (張耿銘).
The movie stars Cheryl Yang, Hsiao-Lan Pei, Mai Yu Tung and Wilson Liu.
This movie is partially based on the rumoured real story of the Liu family who owned the infamous mansion this movie is named after. Three generations of women live in the infamous haunted mansion in Minxiong. When the youngest of the trio goes missing after a visit to the cemetery, a witch doctor is called to the house when she reappears there, only to discover she has entered a forbidden room on the third floor that has been sealed with a spell to hold in an evil spirit But that spirit has been released, and it starts to take its revenge on the person who wronged her.
Yet another in a series of Taiwanese horror movies based on real-life locations, this movie is a marked improvement over the terrible film Hospital from 2020. The atmosphere is the aim of the game here, as it is oozing in bucket loads. The real mansion, or what appears to be the real mansion based on photos I’ve seen, is used as a backdrop with overgrown trees, a dilapidated exterior and an eerie sky added to the background. Even the interior of the house, which is clearly a reconstructed set, looks terrific thanks to the clever colour grading used and some excellent audio including music and effects.
This movie is nice and short clocking in at 80 minutes and it keeps up the pace along the way not wasting any time in setting up the scene, getting to the scares and revealing the truth. Speaking of the truth, I enjoyed the way the movie played with what appeared to be happening – how it shifted the idea of who the spirit was and how it plays with parallel or alternate worlds. The movie also implements the real story of the Minxiong haunted mansion into the plot, so if you know anything about it the ending won’t be that much of a surprise.
The movie only feels let down by the acting – there is just something off about all the performances that don’t quite gel, leading to a movie that should be great, but feels fragmented. A lot happens in this film in 80 minutes and thankfully the last 20 minutes explain everything very clearly. Don’t forget to stay watching for the post-credit sequence too. It uses the location and rumoured history of the real location to craft a very decent and enjoyable horror thriller film. Some great visual effects and music complete a package that’s only let down by average performances.
The Arty Dans, guest reviewer via Asian Film Fans
Teaser trailer and film facts: