31 Days of Horror: DUMPLINGS

The price of beauty is a rather ambiguous expression. To some the price of beauty means that there isn’t a value one can place on eternal youth. They would pay any price and perform any number of deplorable, subhuman acts satisfy their vanity. Showcasing extreme megalomania at its finest, Dumplings addresses what such individuals would pay for eternal youth.

Expanded from its original short form featured in 3 Extremes, Dumplings would take an originally brilliant and sadistic idea, and overembellish itself into something almost too dark.


As former actress Mrs. Li ages and loses her youthful looks, she yearns for her glory days as a beautiful twenty-something and regain the affections of her wandering husband. When Mrs. Li meets Aunt Mei, a dumpling cook whose food is claimed to have rejuvenation effects, she begins to attend treatment sessions, knowingly eating aborted fetuses.

The best horror stories are told through humankind’s darkest and innermost ambitions. Dumplings addresses the ugliness that obtaining beauty can manifest into, and it does it in the most nauseating, stomach-turning way possible. Not a horror movie in the conventional body count and carnage way, but through some of the most horrifying taboos imaginable. Unfortunately for Dumplings, the underlying story and superb acting is what’s most redeemable about the feature.

Gore & Scares

As a film about horrible people doing horrible things, it’ll certainly provide a cringe or two throughout its intense and morbid hour and a half. Despite not being a horror film in the conventional sense, as stated above, it succeeds in effecting the viewer through sickening and grotesque foods exclusively. Disgusting as it is, at least you’ll be eating more salad over the next couple days.


Although Dumplings’ premise is outstanding, it ultimately focuses too much on shock value, muddling an originally poignant and deep story into a vomit-inducing, cringe-fest. In the end, unfortunately, it isn’t so much the film’s phenomenal story that stands out, but the grotesque horror. So long as you’re all right with people eating some repulsive things, and a dose of good old-fashioned animal cruelty that’s all too common in Asia, then you’ll be able to handle Dumplings just fine. For the rest of us, however, it’s a little much.

2.5 out of 5 stars

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cover image via


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Categories: Chinese / Hong Kong Films


Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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4 Comments on “31 Days of Horror: DUMPLINGS”

  1. 10/31/2014 at 3:17 PM #

    I saw this as part of the 3 extremes (I didn’t know there was a longer version) and thought it was pretty good. I didn’t think it was that gory visually, at least the short version wasn’t, but the sound of crunchy dumplings was truly disgusting!

  2. 10/31/2014 at 4:43 PM #

    I liked 3 Extremes version a lot more than Dumplings.

  3. 02/19/2015 at 5:26 PM #

    Reblogged this on Rice Cakes.


  1. 10 Must-See Asian Horror Films on Netflix Instant Queue | Another Castle - 12/09/2014

    […] Dumplings […]

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