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Review Silk a.k.a. Gui si (2006): Probably one of the best mystery films around you never heard of!

genre: horror, mystery, science fiction, drama

Silk is a Taiwanese film with a mixed cast of Taiwanese and Japanese actors. And often the Taiwanese actors will talk Japanese to make matters even more confusing. It does add an international flair or scale if you will.  Chances are however you haven't even heard of this title. It certainly deserves an International audience. Find out why.

Silk very successfully combines science fiction, drama and horror. The pacing of Silk is just right. From the start you want to know what is going on. There are certainly enough scares and surprises. However you should keep in mind that this only is the case if you go in blind. Meaning if you know very little or nothing about the film. It could be stated that Silk is a little too ambitious for it's own good where one is trying to deepen the themes and characters. And the attempt is admirable. Ultimately it distracts somewhat and even falls a bit short. One example is the subplot involving Chen Chang (Tung). It's too melodramatic and illogical to make an impact.  

The horror elements of the story are subtle but scary when it needs to be. There aren't many characters involved and that is a good thing so it's clear you should put the focus on. There are quite a few pivotal matters that are not explained in the story. Like for example the cube they are using in the movie.  It's not necessary for the outcome of the main story, but it would have been nice had they actually given us a hint or two of what it's origins are. 

But what really makes the film worth it is the acting. The cast is great. Chen Chang really carries the film. The actor who plays Hashimoto also is wonderful. You can see in his eyes that he is too obsessed with the case. You aren't quite sure whether too trust him or not. Yet you do feel like rooting for him since you can sense he is at the brink of discovering amazing. 

It could be that some horror elements are a bit typical compared to other Asian horror films. Honestly, I never had a problem with this since the few scares in the films are very effective. But these scares are secondary to the mystery. The mystery itself is very compelling and you very gladly want to dive into it. Even upon a second viewing the mystery elements remain strong. The horror ones little less so. However there is a little sense of dread and tension felt throughout.

Overall this certainly will be worth your time if alone for the wonderful blend of genres.

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