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Review Heirloom a.k.a. Zhai bian (2005): Simple story told in a very confusing way.

genre: horror, drama

This movie had a decent buildup the first fifteen minutes. Everything following is for the worse. The story itself is pretty simple. The way it was told however was very confusing. Also the main actors haven't got a clue what to do with the material. At the climax this becomes clear when the lead actress acts surprised when she is told something. Completely forgetting that she already discovered this several scenes ago. Confusion is one thing but lack of suspense is not something that can be overlooked in a movie like this. Therefore Heirloom could be conceived as a drama with some supernatural elements. Only without any sympathy for the characters on screen or real emotions shown it does make it difficult to be touched. It did bother me though that apart from one or two scenes they didn't show much that could be considered supernatural. The movie doesn't show anything that would make sense of what is going on. It is like scenes were cut that otherwise would provide better transitions between scenes. The viewer just has to accept it without questioning anything. But even then it is hard liking this movie when essentially not much is going on. In short, don't waste your time with this one.

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