green door

Stars: 2.5/5

The horror-thriller series “Green Door” isn’t exactly horrifying or thrilling. While the new Netflix release has all the right elements for a really interesting narrative, it’s a little too much of a slow burner.

“Green Door” follows the life of a troubled psychologist, who returns from the U.S. to set up his own practice in Taiwan. His own dark past begins to be revealed by his clients, who are very unusual, from a time-traveling amnesiac ghost, to a woman who shares her body with a dead gang member. Unfortunately, this setup doesn’t live up to its potential.

The psychologist Wei Sung-Yen (Jam Hsiao) is timid, often guided by the women in his life, but somehow remains very calm when the ghost, Mary, first appears in the mirror. (Side note — the ghost is not scary at all, even when blood-covered. It’s very disappointing.)

It’s also a little disturbing that he, a licensed psychologist, has zero doubts about ghosts being real, and doesn’t even try to get medical help when he starts seeing her more frequently. Instead of going to a hospital or a doctor about it, he goes to a temple, where a long-haired gentleman in an orange vest gives him advice on how to handle it.

Wei Sung-Yen decides this is valid, and starts to follow it, amid his romantic struggles and dealings with other clients. While he’s the main focus, the side characters are a lot more interesting and dynamic, most notably Yu Hsiu-chi (Ying-Xuan Hsieh), the woman with two spirits in her body.

Her acting is amazing, switching from the part of a timid woman to a chain-smoking tough guy in seconds. In a show where almost all of the characters are slow to action and not super outspoken, Hsieh adds much needed drama and intensity. She makes the show come alive, dragging it out of its slow pace and bringing more complexity to the plot.

Her character also creates the little comedy there is in the show, navigating all of the issues with a split personality in interesting and sometimes funny ways. For the most part though, the show is very slow and has trouble in keeping the viewer’s interest. Each episode is around forty minutes, but they seem much longer because of the lack of action.

One thing that is done really well is the style of shooting. The angles and scenery used are gorgeous and create an artistic, intense feel. You get the feeling that each shot is very carefully chosen and they turn out beautiful and dreamy, furthering the sense that reality is not what is should be, and that something is off in “Green Door.”

While the show is not very exciting, it still covers interesting concepts and themes, with good actors and great artistic design.

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