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
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.
very nice genre movie indeed!