Heartbeat 100

One genre that HK seems to have had very few successes with is the mystery/suspense film. It is rare for them to even attempt to make one and only a few films such as The Case of the Cold Fish or Scared Stiff come to mind.  This film directed by Kent Cheng (who has a cameo at the end of the film as a cop) does go down this road and though the film is far from a classic, it does in fact generate some degree of suspense and is overall an enjoyable film to watch.

It begins with an intense scene when a woman whispers to a man that they should slip away and have sex. During the sex act – in which some nudity is displayed – the woman savagely kills the man with a knife. Her lover (who's face is not shown) appears from the shadows, applauds and then lovingly embraces her as he kills her. It turns out that they are all involved with a robbery that recently took place in HK and one partner is upping his share considerably.

Maggie Cheung, her sister (Bonnie Law) and their male friend Weenie Eyes (Lui Fong) are on the way to a small rural village called On Loc. Maggie is a mystery writer and is going to the town to write her next book. The town’s name means “Happy” but this small village is something out of the mind of David Lynch  – below the everyday ordinariness lies a layer of corruption and evil that the three of them slowly become aware of.
At the same time, HK policeman Mark Cheng comes to town to investigate the possibility that the killer is living in that town and he becomes involved with Maggie and company. One night Maggie thinks she sees a murder being committed but by the time the cops come – the evidence and body have vanished. Was it just her imagination? As any good mystery writer would - she decides to investigate on her own. This leads to a number of near escapes from being murdered herself – but who is behind it all?
The film keeps up a good level of suspense throughout and doesn’t allow itself to slip into the realm of corny comedy where some dramatic HK films often wander. This film has a fine ensemble cast and the actors do an excellent job – and have some good scenes in which their fear appears very real and palpable.