A couple on their honeymoon in China takes a wrong turn and gets chased by naked bald men coated in talcum power. Or “moon demons”, as the movie calls them. Of course, it’s moon demon-infested rural China, so there’s no cell phone service. However, Seventh Moon does something I’m seeing more often in horror movies. The cell phone without any reception becomes a source of light, as Amy Smart has discovered above. This is way better than a flashlight for a horror movie. The unfocused light from a cell phone illuminates the actor and it also makes for a more unsettling and unpredictable effect, because something scary could be just outside that soft sphere of light. Like, say, a moon demon!
Director Eduardo Sanchez makes the moon demons “scary” by lighting them poorly, shooting them out of focus, and jerking the camera around. Splice in footage of people running through the woods and, voila!, you’ve got a horror movie.
Sanchez got a lot of mileage out of people running through the woods when he made Blair Witch Project. But that running through the woods was given context with an eerie backstory, good actors, and masterful use of its unique twist (the “found footage” concept was novel back then). None of that is present here. Instead, we have a production that managed to get Amy Smart for a quick shoot in China and, uh, not much else.
For the better follow-up to Blair Witch Project, see a movie called The Objective by Sachez’s co-director, Daniel Myrick. It’s a flawed low budget horror movie, but it demonstrates that Myrick knows what made Blair Witch Project good and he’s capable of doing it again from a very different perspective.