review by Neo

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Yet another Herman Yau’s movie, probably my 4th review of his 2004 movies already, seems like he is becoming a mass producing B-movie director now, well if that’s the case, the quality of B-movies looks better than last year. One thing that is good about Yau’s cheap budget movies, he always have stars, just like Herbal Tea (2004) got Candy Lo and Jordan Chan, Astonishing (2004) has Christy Chung and Alex Fong and now in Dating Death, he has the pretty girl – Stephy Tang (Cookies), the pretty but male-like voice – Teresa (Cookies) and the up and coming – next Edison Chen – Edwin Siu. In Dating Death, director Yau returns to what he is good at, cheesy horror movies, and in fact, the first ¾ of the movie looks extremely promising.

The movie is following along the lines of last year surprise hit – 6th Floor – Truth or Dare which starred my favourite actress – Karena Lam but this time, Truth or Dare goes one step further – Death! The story goes like this, a group of friends like to play the game of "true of dare". A year ago, since all 5 boys said they like Shuk, they became enemies and one of them named Ken even disappeared. Now the friends receive Ken's invitation to go to a big house for a gathering, weird things start to happen...

Of all the performances, Stephy Tang is definitely the stand out of the huge young cast. After an extremely bad and doll like performance in Dragon Loaded 2003 last year, Stephy puts in one of her best performance of her short career. With looks and shots of her at times resembling Karena Lam, though no where near her class yet, but still proves some great potential especially in her expression and tense scenes. However the same can not be say of Teresa whose performance has shown no improvement and even in tense and scary scenes, she can be seen to be smiling than screaming. Well, I call that bad acting, if you watch you movie, you will what I mean, and even some of the pictures of the movie can show / prove that point. As to Edwin Siu, his performance is very Edison’s like, but still is slightly better than Edison, though that’s not saying much. Well, he still have a long way to go, and has actually appeared in quite a few movies already, let’s hope he is not another Edison and actually star in a best vehicle.

Overall, Dating Death is a movie that is as uneven as it gets. If you ask me, the first ¾ of the movie premise is actually looking quite good, but I am somewhat disappointed at the cheesy last quarter which seems to be very much rushed and resulting in a not even as scary as the first ¾ effect. In horror flick, low budget can produce good movies like Inner Senses, but Dating Death does well for a long time, and just can’t finish it off. Although it is better than most B-movie, which makes the film slightly above average with good Herman Yau touches, the film has too many plot holes and the actors are by no means as well portrayed as something like 6th Floor - Truth or Dare. But still, Dating Death, provides good entertainment for a good ¾ and as being a B-movie, it is actually a very good one.

I rate it 7/10

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Product Title : Dating Death
Artist Name(s) : Stephy Tang | Teresa Fu| Edwin Siu|
Language : Cantonese | Mandarin |
Duration : 82 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - June 2004

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