Hanging Out With Ghosts

The Heirloom

James hasn’t been home for a while. Twenty years, in fact, studying abroad. (Instead of studying a broad — heh.) Imagine his surprise when he finds out he’s inherited the family’s huge mansion and can live there rent free. Sure, the place is in disrepair and could use a good de-ghosting. But free is always a good thing. Or is it?

The Heirloom

James invites his friends over to drink some wine. (What, you too good for beer? Posers.) During the sipping something happens to their guests. The house has that effect on people, seeing how all those years ago the entire family committed suicide by hanging — all at the same time. The family that slays together, stays together.

The Heirloom

Over the course of the slowly advancing plot, we discover the multi-millionaire family used ghost children to help make them powerful and rich, and a way to smite their enemies. All this time I thought you just needed to rub a lamp. The care and feeding of the ghosts is another issue altogether, using family members’ um, juices for spiritual potato chips. If you got sick or came down with a case of the brain tumors and polluted the food chain, then into the attic you went — for years.

The Heirloom

The bottom line is James’ friends are being hanged by invisible rope. (It’s amazing how technology has advanced.) His girlfriend finds out the secret of the tainted house and why it seems more haunted than usual.

The Heirloom

The Heirloom (aka, Zhai bian/2005) is murderously tedious, not particularly creepy, and bogged down with too much talk (sub-titles), and not nearly enough cursed spirits. This is surprising given that there are so many ghosts out of work, a fair number of whom would intern for free if given the chance.

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