Updated: 2012-06-13 16:03
"Painted Skin" (2008) is a supernatural fantasy film directed by Gordon Chan, and is loosely based on one of Pu Songling's classic stories in his works "Liaozhai Zhiyi" (Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio).
During the late Qin Dynasty and early Han Dynasty, General Wang Sheng and his wife Peirong are widely-recognized as a loving couple. One day, Wang Sheng brings back an extremely beautiful woman after a battle, called Xiao Wei, who is in fact a fox spirit disguised in a human body.
Xiao Wei feasts on human hearts to maintain her human body and youthful appearance. She has an assistant, a lizard, to kill people and provide her with human hearts. As the murder count rises, the town spirals into an atmosphere of terror and suspicion.
Moreover, Xiao Wei falls in love with General Wang for his bravery and handsomeness. She tries to lure him away, intending to replace Peirong as Wang’s wife.
Peirong discovers Xiao Wei's affection for Wang and her strange inhuman behavior, so she asks Pang Yong for help. Pang Yong, a master of Kung Fu, who had a crush on Peirong for a long time, agrees to help her immediately, and encounters a lovely girl named Xia Bing in the process. Xia Bing agrees to help Peirong fight against the fox spirit. Sparks fly between Pang Yong and Xia Bing.
After a secret search, Pang Yong discovers the real identity of Xiao Wei, and Xiao Wei then threatens Peirong. Peirong is forced to drink poison for the safety of her husband and the common people. The poison turns Peirong into a devil, and she is chased away by everyone.
Xiao Wei, however, finds that Wang Sheng is deeply in love with Peirong, and doesn’t love her at all. Xiao Wei is devastated, but is moved by their sincere love. She decides to use her magic pills to bring dead Wang Sheng and other innocent people back to life.
Now Xiao Wei is confined to her fox form, and the two couples Wang Sheng and Peirong, and Pang Yong and Xia Bing, live happily ever after.
The movie is more of an action-romance than a horror film and narrates an exceedingly touching love story, moving many people to tears. It is well received among audiences, and the theme song of the film also becomes quite popular.