The crew of The Bride posed behind an ice sculpture with words that said “See ghosts on Qixi (7th day of 7th month). The Bride becomes a hit” for good fortune at the box office.
This summer, Taiwanese films are all the rage with diverse subject matters. Among them is the horror film The Bride, which is rare in Taiwanese cinema. The film is produced by Takashige Ichise, producer of popular horror films such as Ring and Ju-on, and directed by Lingo Hsieh, dubbed a “rising star in Taiwanese horror” at Japan’s Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, taking on the subject of Taiwan’s “ghost marriage” custom.
The Bride has been called the most terrifying Taiwanese horror film of the decade. The release of the film is the night before the beginning of the “Ghost Month.” Premiere and special screening of the film were held at Lux Cinema and in98 Digital Cinema in Ximending respectively. Director Lingo Hsieh, producer Takashige Ichise, and main cast members Wu Kang-ren, Nikki Hsieh, Chie Tanaka, Andrew Chen, Vera Yen, and Reina Ikehata were at the premiere to promote the film. The event opened with a suspenseful “ghost bride” ceremony. The director revealed her ghost encounters when filming in Japan.
The premiere of The Bride opened with a suspenseful “ghost bride” ceremony.
The Bride was produced by a Japanese master of horror
Producer Takashige Ichise was behind the 1998 film Ring, which created a Sadako phenomenon throughout Asia. On collaborating with a Taiwanese director to make a Taiwanese horror film, Takashige Ichise explained that to make a Taiwanese horror film stand out, local customs must be incorporated. Director Lingo Hsieh said that Takashige Ichise was very strict, starting by telling her to “shoot her own story,” and her first draft of the screenplay was rejected for not being scary at all.
Wu Kang-ren on acting in his first horror film stated that the horror film that impressed him the most was Ring. Working on The Bride introduced him to the professionalism and discipline of producer Takashige Ichise. Nikki Hsieh commented that the film is Taiwan’s most original horror film yet. In addition to scary scenes, there are also intimate scenes with Wu Kang-ren and Nikki Hsieh in the film. Wu Kang-ren said shyly that although they are close, acting in intimate scenes still made him self-conscious. Nikki Hsieh, on the other hand, said that even her husband is comfortable with her working with Wu Kang-ren.
Wu Kang-ren (left) and Nikki Hsieh (right) have several intimate scenes in the film.
The director revealed ghost encounters during filming
When asked by host Mickey Huang about paranormal phenomenon during the test screening, director Lingo Hsieh stated that a friend of hers saw “extras” that were not supposed to be on screen in a scene where Wu Kang-ren’s character goes to an old house alone. The director also said that when The Bride was in post-production in Japan, there was a paranormal phenomenon in which as the crew stayed in an old inn, one of her colleagues who could not speak Japanese was possessed during sleep and started talking in fluent Japanese, which scared her so much that she could not fall asleep.
Cast members shared their experiences during filming. Chie Tanaka had a breakthrough in style in the film. (From the left: Tanaka Chie, Wu Kang-ren, Nikki Hsieh)
Cast members were at the special screening sharing their experiences with the audience
Following the premiere was the special screening for the film organized by Taipei Film Commission (TFC). Director Lingo Hsieh, producer Takashige Ichise, and cast members Wu Kang-ren, Nikki Hsieh, Chie Tanaka, Andrew Chen, Vera Yen, and Reina Ikehata were there to pay respect to the audience. Takashige Ichise thanked TFC for the support during filming. Chie Tanaka stated that she believed The Bride will become a Taiwanese horror classic. She also had a breakthrough in style in the film. Nikki Hsieh, who had not seen the film, looked forward to be scared along with the audience as they saw the film. The Bride is a horror film based on the Taiwanese custom of “ghost marriage” and will be released on August 20. (Article/ Liya Chen; photography/ May Wen; video/ Chun-mu Ho, Owen Yang)
The crew of The Bride attended the special screening organized by TFC to pay respect to the audience.
The crew of The Bride posed with the audience holding fans of the ghost bride. (From the left: director Lingo Hsieh, actors Wu Kang-ren, Andrew Chen, Nikki Hsieh, Chie Tanaka, Vera Yen, Reina Ikehata, and producer Takashige Ichise)