Plot: In China 2,000 years ago, General Wang captures Xiaowei (Xun Zhou), a woman of unsurpassed beauty. Soon after Wang brings her to his castle, she starts to attract people with her beauty, which makes Wang's wife (Vicki Zhao) suspicious. At the same time, dead bodies are discovered around the castle with their hearts missing.
Based upon the classic Chinese literature Liao Zhai, Painted Skin is an adaptation of Pu Songling’s classic of Chinese literature “Strange Tales of Liaozhai”, storie that dwell on fox spirits.
Production took 10 weeks, filmed on location in the northern desert region of Ningxia, China and the world's largest studio, Hengdian Studio in the eastern province of Zhejiang, China.
Film's budget totaled $15 million USD.
Painted Skin is Hong Kong's official Oscar entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2008 Oscar.
«Painted Skin feels fake, from the technique, to the acting, to the production design and cinematography. The resulting film feels over over-the-top and messy rather than consistent. If one walks in expecting a reverent, elegant update of the Hong Kong horror-fantasy genre, they'd be disappointed.»
«If you can forgive the hollowness of Painted Skin, then it actually develops into what might be construed as a great movie in points. At times, the characters are quite engaging, the acting is solid, and the action is exciting, if a bit cheesy.»
«One of China's most versatile actresses, Zhou is good at switching between Xiao Wei's evil and goody-goody sides, but the jerky script, which shows signs of cutting, doesn't develop any dramatic steam between the characters, apart from a minimal face-off between Xiao Wei and Peirong near the end.»
«Despite the potentially grim subject matter, “Painted Skin” is generally light hearted, and doesn’t take itself too seriously – which is probably for the best. The mood does tend to shift, dancing around between comedy, drama, horror and melodramatic romance.»
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