THE BRIDGE CURSE (2020) Reviews of Taiwanese horror [updated]

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The Bridge Curse is a 2020 Taiwanese horror film about a group of students who dare to test the urban legend of a ghostly bridge. Having been the tragic scene of a woman’s suicide, the bridge now unleashes evil at midnight.

In 2023, a sequel, The Bridge Curse: Ritual was released.

Directed by Lester Hsi [as Lester Shih] from a screenplay written by Keng-Ming Chang, based on a storyline by Po-Hsiang Hao, the movie stars Ning Chang, Cheng Ko, J.C. Lin, Summer Meng, Vera Yen and Wan-Ru Zhan.

The Bridge Curse is …. well, I don’t quite know how to describe it. It’s a horror film. It’s a found footage film. It’s a ghost film. What it’s not is a particularly memorable film.

It opens with a reporter and her cameraman doing a story on five college students who disappeared after visiting a bridge that is reputed to be haunted by the vengeful spirit of a young girl. There’s a good deal of “found footage”, featuring shaky shots of the students either heading to the bridge or running around campus. And then there’s frequent flashbacks to what actually happened, which basically amounts to slightly less shaky shots of the students either heading to the bridge or running around campus.

This is one of those films that’s so derivative of other horror films that, as you watch it, you really can’t bring yourself to believe that there isn’t some grand twist hiding somewhere in the film. I watched all 87 minutes of the film, waiting for something to happen that would take me by surprise. However, that never happened. Instead, this is just a standard stalker ghost film featuring a bunch of personality-lacking college students being chased around campus by a ghost who is soaking wet.

However, despite the fact that the movie is about as predictable as the leaves changing colours in the fall, The Bridge Curse does have a few effective jump scares. The ghost looks creepy and it has a habit of suddenly appearing in the shadows. The ghost made me jump a few times. That said, the movie’s story certainly didn’t stick with me. It’s been about 30 minutes since I watched the film and it’s already disappearing from my memory. The ghost might grab you but the movie never does.

The movie ends with the promise of a sequel but I can’t imagine what else there’s left to do with this story. I guess more students can go hang out on the bridge but, at some point, you would think people would notice that spending the night on the bridge is a one-way ticket to terror. The Bridge Curse isn’t terrible as much as it’s just blandly forgettable.
Guest review by Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Horror Critic

Other reviews:
” …The Bridge Curse is an entertaining 85-minute horror ride. There could have been a bit more narrative set around the investigating journalist (as she’s still more interesting than the college kids!) but with an intriguing urban myth as its crux and a couple of nifty twists, The Bridge Curse is fun long-haired-ghost-horror…” Far East Films

” …it is not a terrible film. It has a followable story, a semi-decent ghost, and no glaringly obvious plot holes or atrociously bad acting. I have certainly seen and reviewed much worse. The thing is that it is the worst type of film to be reviewing: so god damn pedestrian that it is almost impossible to find anything interesting to say.” Horror News

“This is a lazy and uninspiring movie that wants to empty the pockets of especially teenagers who are afraid of their own shadow. But the movie is not scary. It has no intense scenes […] The Bridge Curse is just a generic horror movie that has no soul. It’s sh*t, pure and simple!” Not Only Hollywood

“Director Lester Shih’s (奚岳隆) ability is evident in his feature debut as he skillfully utilizes various devices to conceal the secret to the very end while dropping many subtle hints that will make sense much later — but unfortunately at the expense of the first half. This last part should have been drawn out a lot more, perhaps with the journalist playing a larger role, making the film more of a trippy, horror-tinged mystery thriller instead.” Taipei Times

“A late-game revelation helps make this otherwise routine shriek-fest slightly more interesting than it deserves to be. But I’m feeling generous: the movie gets a bonus half a star for running under 90 minutes.” Today

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