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Cast: Yao Chen, Mark Zhao, Rhydian Vaughan, Li Chen, Tiffany Tang, Daniel Feng
The Mongolian Border, 1979: Massive fossils of unknown creatures are discovered in the mountains, and the research team assigned to excavate the remains includes acclaimed Professor Yang (Wang Qingxiang), Hu Bayi (Mark Chao), and Ping (Yao Chen), the professorís beautiful daughter. When a freak explosion triggers a rockslide, only a handful of explorers survive the fall to the mountain's floor...unearthing an ancient temple and the hideous creatures waiting within.
Present Day: Now living a quiet but tormented life as a librarian, Hu studies demonology manuscripts, seeking answers for that fateful day. Little does he know Professor Yang has just been found wandering the mountains thousands of miles from where he supposedly died; a young woman with amnesia was just discovered in a recently-uncovered tomb; and a Northern Chinese mining town has just been ravaged by giant, ravenous beasts...
"Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe" tells the story of a group of men and women who volunteer to go on an excavation mission with a research team to retrieve fossil remains of unknown creatures. But when a tragic landslide occurs only a handful of the team survives the fall from the mountain. After making sure everyone is all right they discover an ancient temple that is being protected by a number of different creatures including fireball bats.
The film has a lot of secrets and a good amount of mystery to it. Right from the start you wonder how any of the team could have possibly survived such a fall from the mountain but as the film moves along your questions get answered so stick with it. Because there are so many secrets I am not going to spoil any of them here so not to ruin the movie for those waiting to see it.
I will say I probably enjoyed the film more than most have, I understand that there are a lot of things going on and happening in the film that don't seem realistic but the film is a fantasy after all so suspending belief for me was easy. The jumping around from 1979 to present day was fine and it helped to fill in the gaps and it was still very easy to follow the story.
Acting wise I thought everyone did a very good job in the movie but I also felt the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. Productions wise I thought the film looked terrific but that was what I was expecting from Asian cinema and the special effects and CGI was both very good and the creatures I thought were very cool looking.
If I had a major beef I would have to say in is the film's run time which I thought was a little long and could have been trimmed a bit to achieve a little better pace. That being said I really did enjoy the story and it kept my interest all the way through. I even enjoyed that there were different things involved in the story like the lost tribe and even aliens. I also loved the way they finished off the film by tying up the loose ends and revealing all the secrets and solving all the mystery.
"Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe" has not gotten the best of reviews but this Critic enjoyed it more than most others for all the reasons I already mentioned. So if you like a good action/adventure with a mix of fantasy then I recommend checking this film out. Available now on DVD and Blu-ray with Special Features that include:
I found the film to be different and original and worth checking out. I love when Asian cinema does something a bit outside the box
Released by Well Go USA
*** 1/2 Out Of *****