Chinese adaptation of ‘The Door Lock’ cannot compete with Korean version due to inadequate story
Published: Nov 25, 2021 10:53 PM
Photo: Maoyan

Photo: Maoyan

After seven days, Chinese thriller The Door Lock has only grossed 158 million yuan ($24 million). Adapted from the Korean film with the same name, cinemagoers appear to have been put off by an inadequate plot.

Starring Bai Baihe and Fan Chengcheng, the younger brother of Fan Bingbing, the film is about a woman who lives alone and discovers that her home has been invaded by a stranger. When the nights come, the woman vaguely feels that someone has entered her room, but she does not notice any signs after she wakes up. Living alone has almost become her nightmare.

The Chinese film has not proved nearly as popular as the Korean version, which was one of the most successful blockbusters in South Korea in 2018. 

The Korean version was adapted from 2011 Spanish movie Sleep Tight. But the Korean version was a hit because it truly reflected the problem of women living alone with a well-thought-out story setting.

For example, the character played by Korean actress Gong Hyo-jin was capable of some reasonable self-help after her crisis began, while the plot in the Chinese version had less logic and authenticity.

The Korean version had a restrained atmosphere of terror but the Chinese version has nothing to do with the theme of female suspense. The Chinese version just uses "women living alone" as an eyeball, but the hidden dangers and psychological fears faced by women living alone have not been thoroughly explored. 

It is a classic principle that poorly adapted films are rejected by the film market, so that more high-quality films can stand out. But the film companies should realize that adapted movies are not the best option. The key is to focus on original topics and stories, just like the highest-grossing film in the Chinese film industry recently, The Battle at Lake Changjin, which told a story that Chinese people trust and like.