Though the story is based mainly on a supernatural premise, it is more of a love story rather than a ghost/horror film. It is based on Pu Songling's classic novel, Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. Zhou Xun starrs Xiao Wei, a fox spirit (huli jing) that feasts on human hearts in order to maintain her lovely, youthful appearance. When General Wang Sheng (Chen Kun) 'rescues' her from a band of bandits and brings her home, trouble brews as the demon falls in love with the general, who is married to Pei Rong (Zhao Wei).
Another (older) love triangle is present, between the general's brother Pang Yong (Donnie Yen), the general, and his wife. Pei Rong asks Pang Yong for help as she suspects Xiao Wei for what she really is. Pang Yong is aided by an inexperienced 'demon buster', Xia Bing (Betty Sun). Hints of a developing relationship between Xia Bing and Pang Yong are there, although this is never really explored. Another subplot revolves around Xiao Wei's lizard demon ally (Qi Yuwu) who has unreciprocated feelings for her and helps her get all the human hearts she needs.