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Ghost Bride

New Zealand 2013
produced by
Craig Parkes, Mary Takacs (executive), Andrew Wilson (executive), Kim Smith (executive), Jackson Blyth (executive), Michael Kraetzer (executive) for ILA Films, Mandala Films
directed by David Blyth
starring Yoson An, Rebekah Palmer, Fiona Feng, Ian Mune, Geeling Ng, Catheryn Wu, David Lim,Charles Chan, Robert Wong, Philip Cui, Paul Roukshan
written by David Blyth, music by Jed Town, special effects makeup by John Howard, visual effects by Craig Parkes

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jason (Yoson An) has lived in New Zealand for all of his life, is totally in line with the country's "Western" lifestyle and has a white girlfriend, Skye (Rebekah Palmer), whom he loves very much, and who loves him back. And yet, he undeniably has Chinese roots, something he never found the need to fully acknowledge, but his mother, who's lying on her death bed (and who he has never told about Skye) insists he's to marry a Chinese girl, and thus, pretty much against his will, sends him to a matchmaker, Madame Yin (Geeling Ng), who finds a fitting bride, May-Ling (Fiona Feng) for him in no time. But there's something very off about May-Ling, like why has Madame Yin have to drug Jason before seeing her, why does she appear at random places as if to haunt him, and why do his nightmares about her feel just a bit too realistic?

His mum's insistance for him to marry a Chinese girl though has only fortified his love to Skye, and it's not long before he proposes to her in the most romantic way, and they spend the evening together in the most romantic ressort ... until May-Ling appears to the both of them. Not really surprisingly, they make a hasty escape back to his condo - where he eventually finds May-Ling on his couch and strangles her ... and suddenly he and Skye (who stands with him through all of this) are burdened with a corpse they have to get rid of - but after they have achieved that, things only get worse, much worse ...


Ghost Bride is a very fine little ghost story that, despite placing all its shocks in the right spots, refuses to just follow genre conventions, and instead uses its plot to ask some rather relevant socio-political questions, like are we who we want to be or who our culture (and really out ancestors) demand(s) us to be. But while this makes the film sound very much on the lofty side, Ghost Bride is not, it's rather carried by a well-told and well-paced story, very good performances from all involved, and a fittingly subtle directorial effort.

A very nice genre movie indeed!


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD