Vendetta


Newspapers are always strewn with stories about a kid performing some awful criminal deed and more often than not there is a picture of his mother in tears and claiming to anyone who will listen that her child could not possibly have done what he is being accused of. I can’t think of many things sadder than a mother realizing her flesh and blood is a monster. So imagine the mother in Vendetta when she begins to wonder if her two adorable children are literally monsters – possessed or reincarnated from two savage brother/sister killers – and that they have come back for revenge – against their new father - her husband.
That is basically the plot of this edgy, bloody and at times quite gripping supernatural tale from 1993 that begins with a couple vicious killings and rarely slows down to catch its breath. It leaves all mirth aside and drives straight ahead with a creepiness that will have you re-thinking having children  - is that cute little muffin just gurgling or planning your sudden demise. Was that toy left on the stairs just an accident or an attempt to break your neck? Oh come on, it has to be your imagination – it’s not possible you say to yourself as you turn and see two pairs of baleful eyes staring at you.
Ray Lui is a cop and a good one – and he gets called away from his wife (Lau Shui Kei) just as she is about to give birth when a call comes in that three Mainland killers are holed up in an office building. The three Mainlanders are family – and devoted family at that – headed by big brother Tommy Wong (in one of his more chilling performances). Lui and his partner Kent Cheng work their way in and Lui is forced to kill both the younger siblings – a brother and a sister – both with a shot to the head. Wong is captured and swears to kill Lui’s family – and you know this guy won’t be locked up forever.
Lui rushes back to the hospital – thinks he sees the ghosts of the two people he has just killed – and then sees his baby – no make that babies – twins – a boy and a girl – and both sporting a large red dot on their forehead – just where the bullets went in. The police psychiatrist tells him that it is just stress making him imagine all this and he convinces himself of this – and as the children get older he nearly forgets his fears. Then the accidents begin – a slammed door on his finger – a pencil through his eardrum – and why won’t they call him “daddy”.
This one had me feeling nervous throughout – a little sense of dread crawled up my back as I watched it and settled in for the night. It is a low budget affair without much of a reputation, but it is solid with good acting performances from everyone – and the final 30 minutes is like being on a greased steep slide. The very final scene feels a bit of a cheat – there were other alternatives that could have made this one stick in your craw for a good while.

My rating for this film: 7.5