Painted Skin?(traditional Chinese:??皮;?simplified Chinese:??皮;?pinyin:?Hua Pi) is a 2008 Hong Kong/Chinese supernatural-fantasy film starring Donnie Yen, Chen Kun, Zhou Xun, Zhao Wei, Betty Sun and Qi Yuwu. It was directed by Gordon Chan.
Although the film is based partly on a supernatural premise, it is more of an action-romance than a horror film. Painted Skin is based, very loosely, on one of Pu Songling's classic short stories in Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.
The theme song of the film, Hua Xin (?心; Painting Heart), was performed by Jane Zhang.
The film is set in the?Han Dynasty. Xiaowei is a?fox spirit?who feasts on human hearts in order to maintain her lovely, youthful appearance. When General Wang Sheng rescues her from a band of?Xiongnus?and brings her home, trouble brews as the demon falls in love with the general, who is married to Peirong.
Another older?love triangle?is present, between Pang Yong, Wang Sheng and Peirong. Pang Yong is a former general who was in love with Peirong, but eventually lost her to Wang Sheng. Peirong asks Pang Yong for help as she suspects Xiaowei for what she really is. Pang is aided by an inexperienced "demon hunter", a young female fighter called Xia Bing. Hints of a developing relationship between Xia and Pang are there, although this is never fully explored. Another subplot revolves around Xiaowei's demon ally, who is actually morphed from a?chameleon, and who also has unreciprocated feelings for Xiaowei and helps her obtain all the human hearts she needs to maintain her human "skin".