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Gustav Zhuravlev
Gustav Zhuravlev

The Bridge Curse

The Bridge Curse (Chinese: 女鬼橋) is a 2020 Taiwanese horror mystery thriller film directed by Lester Hsi [zh], starring Summer Meng, J.C. Lin [zh], Chang Ning [zh] and Vera Yan [zh]. It is based on the legend of the haunted bridge at Tunghai University.[1]

The Bridge Curse


The film follows four different timelines, one is based in the 1990s, and the other three in 2012, 2016, and 2020 respectively. The film takes off in 2016 where six college students try to explore the bridge of a Taiwanese university which is considered to be haunted. The legend states that a girl was killed on the bridge which becomes of 14 steps during the night-time, as compared to having 13-steps during the day time. According to the film's myth, any person who climbs up the fourteen steps and looks back will get killed.

To check whether the myth is true, the students, in 2016 sent one of their friends up the bridge who disappears after the 14th step. The remaining students run behind their friend only to look back and disappear too. The next timeline jumps to 2020 where a journalist can be seen trying to unfold the truth behind the bridge.

The film jumps around timelines a lot and shows a similar event of students disappearing in 2012. All of these incidents take place only during the leap year. Both in 2012 and 2016, six students go to the bridge but only five of them turn out to be dead. The film then shows how the students back in 2016 died revealing that a cursed girl's ghost kills people. The entire story of the ghost girl's origin story is also revealed through the 90s timeline of the film.

Basically, the ghost in the film keeps one person from the group alive and binds them in a loop to bring more people to kill every leap year. It is then revealed that the journalist working to unsolve the mystery behind the haunted bridge has been bought there by the person who made the deal with the ghost to bring more people to die in 2020. The character, who is regarded as 'Ceon' in the film, then ends up taking the journalist's team to the bridge to keep himself alive, but towards the end, it is revealed that he comes back to the journalist's office in order to make a deal with her to bring more people to the bridge every leap year.

Parents need to know that The Bridge Curse is a 2020 Taiwanese horror movie in which a group of college students suffer the consequences after daring each other to cross a haunted bridge. The movie is in Chinese with English subtitles. While it's not gory like a slasher film, there's plenty of creepy horror imagery and jump scares galore. The movie's premise is that a young woman, while on the bridge, was raped by five men before she was murdered and found dead in the water below. There's talk of suicide. Characters are killed by drowning in buckets, falling into water storage tanks, and falling off buildings. A character is shown sitting in a bathroom stall while defecating and talking on his phone. Profanity includes "f--k," "bulls--t," "damn," and "hell." Essentially, this is The Blair Witch Project with smartphones and the herky-jerky demons from The Grudge franchise.

In THE BRIDGE CURSE, on February 29, 2016, a group of new college students, on a dare put forth by older students, took a "Courage Test" initiation and crossed a bridge at midnight that's rumored to be haunted by a female ghost. They were told not to look around as they climbed the steps of the bridge, and not to count the steps, because if they counted to 13, this would summon the ghost. Of course, these kids looked around and counted to 13, and soon their collegiate lark turned deadly. One by one, the students were pursued and then killed. Exactly four years later, an intrepid reporter seeks to uncover the truth behind the alleged curse of the "Female Ghost Bridge," even going so far as wanting to take the same "Courage Test" that the murdered or missing students took four years prior. Her research uncovers violent death, spurned lovers, and the frightening truth to what's really happening.

Indeed, plot points and settings get to be a little bit too convenient. Of course, the reporter must be at the bridge when it's time for the ghost to appear, and of course the ghost appears only on a leap year at midnight, because a typical Tuesday at 3 p.m. doesn't fit the busy schedule of your average apparition. Of course, the students end up in an abandoned dorm building with gray walls and spotty fluorescent lighting. Furthermore, there's an overreliance on jump scares that grows increasingly tiresome -- to the point where, instead of being scared when the actual pandemonium begins, it's a relief that it's nothing remotely suspenseful.

At Tung Hu University is a bridge that was built for the convenience of its students. In the years that followed, it's become known as "The Female Ghost Bridge", and is a spot where students like to put each other through tests of courage. The rules are simple: on midnight of the Leap Day, cross the bridge and circle the lake, but when you're climbing the steps, don't look back.

  • The Bridge Curse contains examples of: Cellphones Are Useless: When two female students are running through the halls, one suggests the other use her cell phone to call for help. She comments that she doesn't have any bars.

  • Downer Ending: After killing all the students and taking one to help them in four years, the ghost is revealed to be the reporter's cameraman, who attacks her. Then we see a new batch of students taking part in the bravery test, showing that the hauntings and deaths will continue.

  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The hauntings always happen on Leap Day, and continue afterwards until all students involved with the ritual have been killed, and one of them offers themselves up as the ghost's next helper.

  • Intrepid Reporter: The woman in 2020 investigating the students' murders.

  • Smash to Black: Happens after a ghost attack. Also at another point in the movie.

  • Sequel Hook: In one of The Stingers, a pair of feet walks up to the reporter and tells her that he needs her help to break the cycle, implying he wants to put an end to the Bridge Curse deaths.

  • Switching P.O.V.: Between the reporter's investigation in 2020, and the doomed students in 2016.

  • Trail of Blood: One of The Stingers shows one leading to the reporter's head, though she is still alive.

  • Unnaturally Looping Location: When two girls try running down the stairs to a lower floor, it takes them a lot of stairs before they realize they're still in the second-to-third-floor section, which is indicated by a 2/3 on the wall.

  • Urban Legend: About the Female Ghost Bridge. The story is that a woman committed suicide there at midnight after her boyfriend never showed up for a planned rendevouz. Apparently, the actual story is that she was raped and murdered there by five guys, then dumped in the lake. Ever since, on the anniversary of her death, a mysterious 14th step has appeared on the bridge, and there's been that whole test of courage thing the students like doing.

From the writers and producers of the hit Taiwan horror series The Tag-Along comes another slice of suspiciously familiar ghost fun in the form of The Bridge Curse, revolving around an unfortunate group of students cursed by the usual vengeful spirit after failing to respect a local urban legend. Directed by Lester Hsi, the film was actually based on a real-life incident at Tunghai University in Taiwan, in which a student apparently live-streamed himself on Facebook exploring the haunted bridge of the title, only to be warned by his watchers that they could see a ghostly figure in the background. Although the video in question has been deleted, viewers everywhere can now experience the terror for themselves, such as it is, with the film having landed on Netflix.

How much of a problem all this is will be down to the individual viewer, and all this aside, The Bridge Curse is a pretty entertaining hour and twenty-seven minutes for anyone pining for the heyday of Asian long-haired female ghost urban legend curse films. Lester Hsi does a perfectly respectable job as director, keeping things moving along at a brisk pace, and though the film rarely even approaches being frightening, the ghost herself is reasonable value for money, the effects are decent, and the general look and locations are atmospheric and creepy enough. To their credit, writers Chang Keng-ming, and Hao Po-Hsiang do throw in some pointless but entertaining timeline chicanery, along with a final twist, which unsurprisingly works mainly to leave things open for a sequel, though which at least lets the film end on a slightly different note to most of its peers.

So what exactly is the bridge curse? Every leap year, if you count up some stairwell near a bridge then a bonus step will appear and a ghost girl will appear behind you or whatever the hell was happening here. Honestly, it's so damn contrived and impossible to stumble upon naturally that only people testing the urban legend would ever fall victim to this curse. Which begs the question, how the hell did anyone ever know about this in the first place?! Yeah, we get your standard, long-haired ghost girl, and she looks decent in all fairness. There are two origin stories for the ghost with both sounding sketchy by the characters as if to imply the truth was never completely revealed; I mean, it's not like any of the characters have any connection to the ghost whatsoever. Although maybe they were going to have a connection? The framing device of the story revolves around a journalist making a documentary of the events so maybe she would discover the truth about the ghost? The ending of this film not only sequel-baits but is so bold as to include a mid and post-credit scene. This ain't a Marvel movie here.

The big twist of this movie felt so cheap. Oh, the characters that you thought were all interacting together were actually two different groups from different time periods dying to the curse. DUN DUN DUN!!! What's the point? So that we can reveal the camera guy of the documentary crew is actually one of the kids possessed-ish by the ghost? Weak. It turns out the ghost will let someone live if they arrange for more victims every 4 years. Look, "February 29" already tackled this better and throwing in "The Wishing Stairs" to the mix doesn't add anything. 041b061a72


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