Sound from the Dark


Have you ever felt almost embarrassed to realize that you watched a film all the way through. When the end credits of this one began rolling by I sat there smiling like an idiot that I had just wasted 90 minutes of my life watching this thing crawl by like a wounded animal wanting to be put out of it’s misery. Why? I don’t know. It was just there. I put it on and watched. I have no excuses. I have free will – but I sat there and watched. From the five-minute mark I knew this had the spark of a cheap moldy piece of cardboard – but I sat there as if a captive of a mind machine. Maybe it was Kathy Chow’s flower bud pout or Joey Man’s delectable little mole above her upper lip that held me there – it certainly wasn’t this film. The HKMDB has the box office for this film as 27 dollars  – that would be Hong Kong dollars. Normally, I would assume this was a typo – in this case it may well be true ((adjusted to HK$ 27,000 or USD 4,000).
Kathy Chow and Joey Man
These days Hong Kong is littered with low budget horror films trying to find an audience and a bit of inspiration  - but few fall as short as this one does. Much of the film takes place on a near deserted beach outside of Hong Kong where various characters come to stare despondently out at the ocean. Whether their depression stems from having found themselves in this film or because of the water ghost I am not sure. Yes, the dreaded water ghost. There is some ghost in the water that feeds off the depression of people and reaches out and kills them in various ways from pulling them down the toilet to drowning them in their own car.
Stephanie Che and Wayne Lai
Various people have been dying around the beach area and journalist Kathy Chow snoops around trying to find the connection. She comes across a dwarf with talisman powers and the ability to spit nails. She also makes friends with Stephanie Che, Wayne Lai and Joey Man who all have suicide on their mind – and the water ghost hungrily eyes them up. Unfortunately, not soon enough as we have to find out why they look as if their favorite pet ran off with their lover.
This all doesn’t sound too bad now that I think about it – but the direction by Tony Leung (no – this is yet another Tony Leung!) is so astonishingly inept, the script so lifeless, the special effects so negligible and the scares so lacking that the film should find a deep hole and go into hiding. These actors certainly have some ability if given a script to work with but here their only direction seemed to be to look miserable – no more miserable. If they had only seen their performance in this film the director need not have coached them. This all leads up to perhaps the most amazingly unexciting ending that one could begin to imagine – and it was about that time that this silly embarrassed smile crept over me.

My rating for this film: 2.0



DVD Information:

Distributed by Universe

The transfer is not all that good  though not terrible - the dark scenes of which there are not many are quite murky.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks

There is a trailer for this film and ones for Eternal Love and Take 2 Love Connection.

The subtitles are Chinese or English.

Star files on Kathy Chow and Joey Man/Meng.