Phantom of the Theatre (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Thirteen years ago, a big fire in a theater claimed the lives of an entire acrobatic troupe. The theater reopens years later as a cinema, but stories of terrifying ghost encounters scare everyone away. Intrigued by the rumors, young director Gu Weibang (Tony Yang) decides to shoot a ghost love story at the theater and convinces top actress of the day Meng Sifan (Ruby Lin) to be the star of the film but people soon start dropping dead in mysterious fashion.
|Product Title:||Phantom of the Theatre (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 魔宮魅影 (2016) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 魔宫魅影 (2016) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 魔宮魅影 (2016) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Phantom of the Theatre (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Ruby Lin (Actor) | Yo Yang (Actor) | Simon Yam (Actor) | Huang Lei (Actor) | Pat Ha (Actor) | Jing Gang Shan (Actor) | Wendy Zhang (Actor) | WU XU DONG (Actor) | Natalie Meng Yao (Actor) 林心如 (Actor) | 楊祐寧 (Actor) | 任達華 (Actor) | 黃磊 (Actor) | 夏文汐 (Actor) | 景崗山 (Actor) | 張子楓 (Actor) | 吳旭東 (Actor) | 孟瑤 (Actor) 林心如 (Actor) | 杨佑宁 (Actor) | 任达华 (Actor) | Huang Lei (Actor) | 夏文汐 (Actor) | 景岗山 (Actor) | 张子枫 (Actor) | 吴旭东 (Actor) | 孟瑶 (Actor) 林心如（ルビー・リン） (Actor) | 楊祐寧（トニー・ヤン） (Actor) | 任達華 （サイモン・ヤム） (Actor) | 黄磊（ホァン・レイ） (Actor) | 夏文汐（パット・ハー） (Actor) | Jing Gang Shan (Actor) | Wendy Zhang (Actor) | WU XU DONG (Actor) | 孟瑤（モン・ヤオ） (Actor) Ruby Lin (Actor) | Yo Yang (Actor) | 임 달화 (Actor) | Huang Lei (Actor) | Pat Ha (Actor) | Jing Gang Shan (Actor) | Wendy Zhang (Actor) | WU XU DONG (Actor) | Natalie Meng Yao (Actor)|
|Director:||Raymond Yip 葉偉民 叶伟民 葉偉民 （イップ・ワイマン） Raymond Yip|
|Producer:||Man Chuen 文雋 文隽 文雋（マンフレッド・ウォン） Man Chuen|
|Blu-ray Region Code:||A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese|
|Country of Origin:||Hong Kong, China|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)|
|Package Weight:||100 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1053930952|
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Professional Review of "Phantom of the Theatre (2016) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"
One of the few directors known for working in the horror genre in China, Raymond Yip teams again with writer-producer Manfred Wong for the period-set chiller Phantom of the Theatre. The two scored a very rare spooky hit at the Chinese box office in 2014 with The House That Never Dies, Yip having also helmed the Wong Jing ghost comedy Till Death Do Us Laugh back in 1996 as well as being known for assisting on the classic triad Young and Dangerous series. House star Ruby Lin returns, headlining alongside actor Tony Yang (The Crossing), with support from veteran Simon Yam (The Tenants Downstairs), Huang Huan (Zhongkui: Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal) and Jing Gang Shan (Mortician).
The film takes place in Shanghai in the 1930s, with Tony Yang as Gu Weibang, a handsome young film director, who despite the wishes of his warlord father Gu Mingshan (Simon Yam) decides to shoot a horror film in a theatre where thirteen years ago a fire resulted in an acrobatic troupe being burned to death. Although things start well, Gu managing to land top actress Meng Sifan (Ruby Lin) to be his leading lady, before long people are dying in the theatre, mysteriously being burned from the inside out. As Gu and Meng start to fall for each other, his pathologist girlfriend (Huang Huan) investigates the bodies of the victims, and the theatre's secret is slowly revealed.
Given the notoriously anti-supernatural Chinese censors, making horror films in the country is never easy, ghostly-goings on often being seriously undermined by the need for rational explanations – as seen in the ludicrous conclusion to Raymond Yip's earlier hit The House That Never Dies. Surprisingly, Phantom of the Theatre starts off in genuinely spooky fashion, with eerie scenes of the spirits haunting the theatre claiming a victim – possibly allowed since the spectres were wronged by the corrupt pre-communist regime. From here, things do gradually get more grounded, the film becoming more of a romantic mystery with nods to The Phantom of the Opera, Jing Gang Shan's scarred, cloaked villain lurking around and making use of chandeliers, secret passages and the like. The film does actually have quite a high body count, and Yip packs in plenty of thrills and ghoulish action, keeping things moving along briskly, if chaotically.
The blurring of film and reality is a key theme, and this works quite well in terms of progressing Gu Weibang and Meng Sifan's relationship, as well as paying homage to the early days of the horror genre in China, in particular Maxu Weibang's 1937 Song at Midnight. The film's romantic elements also gel nicely thanks to likeable performances from Ruby Lin and Tony Yang, there being a winningly melancholic chemistry between the two that makes their essentially predictable courtship engaging. The rest of the cast are all similarly on good form, and though he doesn't have a great deal to do aside from looking gruff and vaguely seedy, Simon Yam adds a welcome touch of class in his usual style.
The greatest strength of Phantom of the Theatre is undoubtedly its gorgeous visuals, the film looking amazing throughout, being several notches above most other Chinese productions of the type. Though CGI-heavy and clearly shot on sets, the film has a wonderfully grandiose production design, filled with baroque furniture and ornate backdrops, making for an enjoyably gothic and ghoulish atmosphere that underlines its themes and mysteries. It also helps that the special effects are of an above-average standard, both for the appearances of the ghosts and some of the set pieces and scenes of the cast having fantastical visions.
While not likely to challenge the legacy of the spooky classics of the past, Phantom of the Theatre is a very respectable genre offering from China, even more so given the current situation with the country's anti-horror censors. Credit to Raymond Yip and Manfred Wong for working within the system, producing a film which though derivative offers a solid amount of fun creepiness as well as a reasonably moving love story and an appealing cast.
by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com