“Pali Road” Brings the Psychological Thriller to Hawaii

It’s about to be horror season, and we’re all probably looking for something a bit more unique than just the regular hack/slash scenario. If your version of horror is being scared out of your mind by the psychological, then take a look at the trailer for the Hawaii International Film Festival headliner, Pali Road. 

The film, which is premiering at the festival, is the first time China and Hawaii have co-produced a movie, and is also nominated for the festival’s prestigious Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Feature Film, an award given to documentary and narrative films that “best express artistic and technical excellence and promote cross-cultural understanding.”

The film is directed by Jonathan Lim (also one of the film’s producers) and stars Michelle Chen (Badges of Fury, You are the Apple of My Eye) Jackson Rathbone (The Twilight Saga), Sung Kang (Fast Five, Fast & Furious) and Hawaii native Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, The 100). Public screenings begin November 16th and the 21st.

The film focuses on a young woman who had a sound career as a doctor and had found love, but after a car accident, she wakes up to find that she’s somehow married to her boyfriend’s enemy and has a young son. Her desperate attempt to get back to the life she had puts her in direct conflict with her husband and family, who believe she’s still affected from her accident. The film’s title is a direct reference to the lore around Hawaii’s Pali Road, a road synonymous with lost love.

PALI ROAD is a mesmerizing and chilling journey into the mystery of the human psyche and the power of love. Lily (Chen), a young doctor, wakes up from a car accident to discover she is now married to her boyfriend’s affluent rival, Dr. Mitch Kayne (Kang), has a five-year-old-son, and an established life she has no recollection of. Everyone around her, including her parents, deny that her boyfriend, Neil (Rathbone), ever existed, sending her on a desperate search for the truth. Determined to reclaim a life everyone insists is nothing more than an illusion, Lily eventually begins to doubt her own sanity. Struggling to overcome her seemingly hopeless situation, Lily endures a series of unexplainable and haunting incidents while bravely making her way to an ultimate mind-bending truth about the power of true love.

Shot entirely in Hawaii PALI ROAD is a story about the search for true love between two different worlds. Her search for the truth to her past life will lead her to question everyone around her and her entire existence.  PALI ROAD (aka Highway 61) is an idyllic, winding road through some of the most enchanting parts of Oahu and maintains an important if not infamous place in Hawaiian history. Being at the center of many of Oahu’s supernatural activities, it is said the road is haunted and various mysterious figures can be seen wandering the area at all hours. Numerous otherworldly sightings have been confirmed along PaliRoad, both by longtime residents of the area as well as tourists who come from all over the world to visit the region.

Lim and fellow producer Daxing Zhang are excited to have the film premiere at the festival. Here’s what they had to say:

“We’re honored to have been invited to have the world premiere of PALI ROAD at the 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival and to learn of our nomination of the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Narrative Feature Film,” said Director and Producer Jonathan Lim. “It was extremely challenging as well as rewarding, working on this project. We worked tirelessly to create the right story and assembled an internationally diverse cast that would resonate not only in the Chinese market but for audiences on a global scale. Hawaii International Film Festival is the largest East meets West film festival in the US, and is the perfect fit for our film.  We’re looking forward to showing the finished product that so many people have worked so hard on to audiences for the very first time this November.”

“We’ve compiled a diverse, world-renowned cast from the extremely talented Chinese Superstar Michelle Chen to internationally renowned Jackson Rathbone of TWIGHLIGHT FAME, to Sung Kang of the FAST & FURIOUS franchise who together bring international box office earnings into the billions of dollars. Our truly adept team, both in front of and behind the camera are helping to fill a gap in the marketplace for English-language Chinese co-productions that audiences around the world are craving, “said Daxing Zhang (Man of Taichi). “PALI ROAD has all of the ingredients of a successful motion picture; a thrilling storyline that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats, constantly guessing what is real, an incredible cast who deliver honest and powerful performances and at the heart of the film, a deep and soulful love story.”

Take a look at the trailer, and see if it doesn’t creep you out. If you’re going to the festival, click here to learn more about the film and ticket information. Are you excited for this production? Give me your opinions in the comments section!

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