Horoscope I: The Voice from
First, I have to say that Athena Chu looks great
in green – as in her skin color. It seems that green is the preferred color
of choice when ghosts possess you. There are lots of other fun facts to
learn regarding the afterlife in this tale of spirits and revenge. Though
there is nothing here that will have you looking under your bed before
going to sleep, it strikes an enjoyable combination of supernatural thrills
and comedic hijinks.
Unlike many of Wong Jing’s films though, the comedy
never really gets so silly that it deflects from the main story. And how
could you not find Helen Law Lan lying comatose with a toad in her mouth
and Lam Song-yee having to suck the breath out of a cockroach and kiss
Auntie in order to bring her back to life anything but funny.
The film begins with a prologue in which a
real estate agent is showing an apartment in a public housing building
to a couple. They complain that the walls are still wet and the agent begins
visibly perspiring. Suddenly they are among two ghosts who are replaying
the last moments of their lives. The wife (Pinky Cheung) gets a call from
her husband to get out of the apartment quickly as someone is coming to
kill her and their son. They try, but the door has been chained and she
and the boy are then burnt to death. For some reason, the prospective tenants
don’t take the apartment. I would have thought with housing as tight as
it is in HK, a small thing like sharing it with two ghosts would not be
Athena Chu is a psychiatry student who volunteers
her time to help old people. One of her cases is Aunt Szeto – played by
the wonderfully creepy Helen Law Lan. She is a psychic and communicates
with the dead and Athena thinks she is just a phony until she too starts
seeing spirits. One is a little girl crying tears of blood and the other
is a small boy. It turns out that Auntie lives in the same apartment building
as the two ghosts. The mother ghost is looking for revenge on her husband
for getting her killed and she needs a body to possess to do this. As she
says later after possessing Athena’s body “I like this body”. Me too.
There are nice acting jobs all around. Athena
follows up on her excellent performance in HK Triad with a good job here
– in particular in her possessed phase. But Law Lan steals the film with
a great job. She just commands your attention. One scene in which she is
in a trance and goes from kung-fu kicker to a squalling baby is inspired.
There are some other good supporting roles performed by Ng Chi-hung, Yuen
King-tan, Simon Lui and Lam Song-yee.
An easy way to spend 90 minutes – a few chills
and a few laughs and actually an ending that is quite moody, suspenseful
and a bit chilling.