films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
more info


Strange Stories of Liao Zhai - The Land of Lan Ruo poster

More contemporary Chinese fantasy. And once again a film that shows clear signs of improvement. There are still some core issues that keep a film like this from competing with the big boys, but as substantial filler (and after all, that's why it was made in the first place) it's really delivering.

Read all

There's probably some Chinese folklore that escapes me (not having access to Chinese literature can be a burden), but the core plot is simple enough, with a guy having to close three gates in order to keep evil out of this world. He gets help from the Heavenly Maiden, who guides him along on his journey.

The CG can be a bit much, but there are also times when it's aesthetically pleasing. The sets and costumes look lush, the fantasy and lore are intriguing and the pacing/runtime is perfect. It's still virtually impossible to find your way in the literal downpour of similar-looking films, but at least the overall quality appears to be getting better every year.