Thoughts on “The House That Never Dies: Reawakening”

Seemingly, “The House That Never Dies: Reawakening” is a sequel to an earlier movie that I haven’t seen, and so I’d have to be prepared to be a little confused when watching it. However, about the only thing that could be in common between the two is the house itself, which is a little weird because that’s not really mentioned in the movie. So if it’s a sequel and if the movies are directly related, then the movie itself doesn’t do all that great a job of highlighting that or tying it into the plot, which is similar to how “The Tag-Along” worked wrt “The Tag-Along 2”: other than bringing a character back and referencing the mountains, there’s not a lot of plot continuity between the two.

Like those movies, this one is, again, an Asian horror film, with all the good and bad that that implies. This one focuses around the story of a doctor whose husband is restoring an old house which is linked to a story in the past about a disgraced and semi-exiled general, his wife, his second wife, a doctor, and difficulties in childbirth. There is a strong jealousy and cheating undercurrent, and this undercurrent starts to manifest between the main character, her husband, and his assistant. The movie flips back and forth between the historical events and the current day issues, with odd, supernatural events happening throughout the modern parts.

This, however, is what most hurts the movie. The historical tale is actually interesting, but we don’t get to focus on it very long before it returns to the modern story. And the modern tale could be interesting even as a straight drama but it doesn’t get the time to properly develop because of the historical flashbacks and the pauses to do creepy things. Ultimately, it seems like both stories would have worked better as Western-style horror than as Asian-style, where the focus would have been more on the characters being supernaturally influenced to essentially become the historical ones rather than simply having parallels between their stories and potentially an implied influence (that doesn’t really seem to be there, as the assistant was never interested in the husband). As it is, the drama is interesting, particularly the historical drama, but the supernatural elements and having to link the two drags it down.

The movie wasn’t terrible, and so killed some time. Like so many of these movies, it’s not a movie that I hated and so could never watch again, but I have no strong desire to watch it again.

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