Silk is a 2006 Taiwanese Horror film written and directed by So Chao-Bin. It was introduced to me by the same friend who also introduced me to The Red Shoes, among other films that I plan on covering in the somewhat near future. Silk while an interesting ghost story is often made victim to it’s own wonky science.
Silk follows the exploits of a team of ghost hunters trying to capture a ghost to harness it for the purpose of anti gravity. After sending a foreign photographer to many haunted locals to capture evidence of ghosts on specialized film with no success. But when he is sent to Taipei the skeptical photographer catches the image of the ghost small boy on film. The ghost does not like being seen and the photographer become the films first victim. The film then shifts focus between two different men. One the teams director Hashimoto (Yosuke Eguchi) and inventor of the Meager Sponge (used to absorb energy and capture ghosts. Ok so its this films MacGuffin) who also happens to be a cripple and the policeman Tung (Chen Chang). Tung is this story’s Mary Sue character who has perfect vision, can remember anything he sees, can read lips and is a crack shot. Tung is brought on board at the request of Hashimoto, who wants to use his skills to learn more about the ghost. Tung uses his skills to uncover who the child was and the circumstances of his death while being caught up in the schemes of Hasimoto and his desire for revenge against those who slighted him.
I did enjoy this story as it did throw an unexpected curve ball here and there at me and most of the films internal logic makes sense. Altho the films physics are a bit wonky with my main point of irritation is a ridiculous car chase involving Tung trying to outrun a ghost. When the car crashes the ghost is thrown free… the ghost is thrown free…. why does a ghost have mass and momentum for this one instance?
My second issue is less an actual problem than something that just irks me. That’s Tung and the fact he’s a Mary Sue character. Hes great at everything, but bad at nothing. He always makes the right decision and never makes mistakes but he does all the time. From causing a car crash in a populated area firing a gun on a crowded subway car a ghost, knowing that shooting it will do nothing and that there are in fact people in the subway car with him. While entertaining it made for boring scenes as he seems so unflawed I have a hard time relating to the character.
But I did really like Hashimoto I can’t go too much into why I like him as it will expose key plot points. But Hashimoto is a breath of fresh air. Which is a good thing since most the characters in the film are shallow and underdeveloped but not Hashimoto. He’s the one character that seems to have motivations and a reason to be doing what he does. The rest of the characters seem to just free float around him. Its as if you were to take away Hashimoto the whole plot would drift apart due to none of the other characters having reason to be there. Then again those characters are never given reason why other then just because.
But what are my final thoughts on Silk? Well while it does have it’s flaws, it was very entertaining. The film followed it’s own logic (most of the time) and while it did get hokey towards the end I did feel afraid for our Mary Sue. So that says something. The musical score while subtle did add tension to right scenes and the ghosts were done well. Silk will never be my favorite movie with Ghost/Supernatural sub-genre that distinction goes to Poltergeist it was very much worth the watch. So all said and done Silk gets a 7/10. Go give it a watch if you like ghost stories with a bit of a twist.