Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story) (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story) (1987)

Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Legendary Hong Kong producer/director Tsui Hark and filmmaker Ching Siutung combine forces in this high-flying supernatural romance classic. Ning Caichen (Leslie Cheung) is a lowly tax collector who takes refuge for the night at the spooky Lam Ro temple. There he encounters and promptly falls in love with a beautiful ghost named Nie Xiaoqian (Joey Wang). Unfortunately Xiaoqian is damned to serve the evil hermaphroditic tree spirit Lao Lao, who (thanks to an extraordinarily long tongue) feasts on the souls of amorous young males. Usually Xiaoqian, along with her comely sister Qing, tempts would-be Lotharios to their arboreal doom, but she too is smitten with the downtrodden wanderer. Soon afterwards, Caichen meets Master Yan (Ma Wu), a Taoist hermit, martial arts master, and a sworn enemy of Lao Lao, who tells him of Xiaoqian's true, otherworldly nature. Nonetheless, true love proves to be strong. Caichen promises Xiaoqian that he will help spring her from her dubious employment and Xiaoqian protects her love from the evil wood sprite. Later, things grow more complicated for the lovers when they learn that Xiaoqian has been betrothed to a demon warlord.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Romance, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
On DVD: Sep 12, 2000
Cinema City & Film Company

News & Interviews for Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story)

Critic Reviews for Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Fantastic mix of comedy, horror, and romance.

September 2, 2002
Your Movies (

One of the classics of the Chinese fantasy genre. required viewing for any fan of Chinese cinema.

August 8, 2002
IGN Movies

June 6, 2007

July 31, 2005

Audience Reviews for Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story)


An odd, entertaining and very funny supernatural romance that blends horror and slapstick humor quite efficiently, with great special effects and a lot of style, even though the musical numbers are pretty embarrassing and the end is a bit frustrating.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


A naive young scholar is seduced by a beautiful spirit and joins forces with a retired swordsman to return her remains home and free her soul for reincarnation. Produced by prolific Hong Kong director Tsui Hark, A Chinese Ghost Story contains all of his usual crowd pleasing ingredients of frenetic swordplay, slapstick and songs with an added dash of romanticism to create a comic supernatural pantomime that's heavy on over the top set pieces and light on narrative. It's a deeply silly excuse for exploding zombies, pretty girls flying around on wires and flurries of martial art violence that owes obvious debts to western films such as Evil Dead 2 and Poltergeist, presented with a more Eastern flavour. The characterisation is a blend of the usual HK action stereotypes and the plot next to non-existent, but it's all done with an innocent charm and sense of fun that stops it from descending into the cheap and nasty. Subtle it most certainly is not and technically speaking it's a bit of a mess, but the heroes are very likeable, as are the amusingly slapdash effects and the surreal finale set in the ghostly realm is visually inventive and fun.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Crazy fun.

Steve K

Super Reviewer

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