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).
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.
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
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.
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.