Cinematically, the year 1999 may well be remembered
as the year of the low budget horror film in HK. Due to the box office
success of the Japanese horror film The Ring many HK producers jumped
on the bandwagon and knocked off a number of quickie horror films. Raymond
Wong who certainly is never loath to jump on a good thing when he sees
it produced this one. The film has decent production values and an attractive
young cast but it is missing a basic ingredient for a good horror film
being scary! That is somewhat important to a horror film. One wants to
feel a shiver or two of fear walk up their spine but that was not to
The film is divided into four different segments
all with this mirror somehow involved. The problem though is that it is
never explained what the mirror is or what powers it has. Just that bad
things seem to happen to people who own it but why? Perhaps it just brings
out the worst in us but that is never quite delved into.
The first story actually only lasts a few minutes
as it takes place in olden times and stars Sherming Yiu as a courtesan
who meets up with a bad end. Is this the beginning of the mirrors curse
or just another chapter again who knows.
The next segment takes place in 1922 Shanghai
and Tsui Fan receives the mirror as a birthday gift but it brings back
to her all the bad things that she has done in her life and leaves her
on the brink of insanity. Her maid Chan Sha Sha is there to help . .
.or is she?
The film next goes to Singapore in 1988 and a
lawyer Jack Neo picks up a woman Lynn Poh - in a restaurant and takes
her to bed. Though planning on having only a one nighter with her her
brother forces him to marry her. She brings along the mirror as her dowry.
All of a sudden he seems willing to do anything to win a case for a rapist
and murderer and the dead victim Raymond Wong is not pleased.
The final and longest story picks up in present
day HK. Lillian Ho and Helen Law Lan are waiting for Nicholas Tse to come
back from being away for a long time. Both expect that he will marry Lillian
upon his return, but he brings a nutty Ruby Lin with him and announces
that he is going to marry her. They go out and buy the mirror and soon
things start going dead in the night but who is it that the mirror has
The Shanghai piece has a good eerie mood to it,
the Singapore segment is pretty awful and the HK story has a good idea
in there somewhere, but the pacing of it is very slow and it loses what
suspense could have been there.
Still these anthologies are at least a good
opportunity to see some of the new talent coming up. Tsui Fan had a strong
presence about her and Lillian Ho is about as cute as they come but
still . . .
My rating for this film: 6.0