Rigor Mortis Will Leave You Scared Stiff

Poster for Rigor MortisI have a special affinity for foreign horror, and so I got pretty excited when I started seeing trailers for Rigor Mortis. This Chinese movie definitely takes a different twist on the vampire!

The protagonist is a former actor who moves into an apartment building where typically only those with a much lower-class lifestyle live. The building is full of odd characters: the seamstress and her husband, the flashy guy who runs the nearby café, the security guard who knows everyone, and the homeless woman and her child who roam the halls. As soon as our protagonist moves in, it becomes clear that he is not planning on being there long. His suicide attempt is cut short by Mr. Flashy, and in doing so we find that his apartment is haunted by the spirits of two women. The spirits haunt the building, searching for a body to inhabit. And, a body is soon provided as the husband of the seamstress falls to his death on the concrete stairs. In her grief, the seamstress resorts to black magic to revive her husband, burying him in dirt in the bathtub, interring him in a coffin that hangs above the ground, and covering his face with a special, creepy metal mask, which she is instructed to never remove. From there, things start getting crazy, and our protagonist finds himself teaming up with a vampire hunter to save the day.

Picture of the protagonist in Rigor Mortis

This movie has some great visual effects, especially the two women spirits who are surrounded by numerous blood red tendrils, and who creep around on the walls and ceiling, while trying to find a body to possess. The cinematography is great – lots of dark, rich colors and noir lighting. There are also some interesting choreographed fight scenes, and some tools of the vampire hunting trade that are pretty cool. One of these allows the hunter to change reality within a certain area and cycles through the different Chinese elements: fire, water, and earth.

The twins in Rigor Mortis

I definitely enjoyed this movie. If you like foreign horror, especially movies that have a combination of action and horror, then you would probably enjoy Rigor Mortis.

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