NIGHT (2006) HK/JAPAN/THAI
review by Neo
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Neo doesn’t hate horror movies, but he hates horror movies that aren’t even scary. Usually those flicks are stupid and crap. For the past few years, Pan-Asia productions are becoming a common saying. Three part series is highly popular. Three was a bright extract, but like Three Extremes, the only production worth seeing is the HK one. To be quite frank, the other two – Japan and Thailand is just plain crap, in fact, Neo feel asleep during the last two sections. Luckily the segment starts with the HK one and really it isn’t brilliant, but at least it is a hard working attempt and is easily watch-able.
The movies goes like this: A three-part horror: a singer finds out her boyfriend is dating someone else, a soon-to-be bride loses her memory but keeps seeing the corpse of a young boy in her dream, and housewife runs away from home with her son...
Neo critically acclaimed last year’s Ah Sou, when almost every other critic canned it, and in that I also praised the performance of Annie Liu. Once again she doesn’t disappoint, acting with a mysterious outlook, add layers to her troubled character. Race Wong, an actress Neo claims to be the next Karena Lam two years ago, have been fading away in recent years, is suitably well suited in her role as the ghost and her intense make up allows a scary impression. However, two plus usually leads to a minus and Fiona Sit’s co-star from Embrace Your Shadow performs poorly after an adequate debut performance. He is clearly the weak link and clearly a class below the two new coming actresses.
Like most horror movies, the plot is stupid and rather irrelevant and the characters are usually poorly developed and clearly the 40 minutes running time does not advance this cause. However, good production values, adequate sets make this a rather polished production and full credit must be given to the director of Born Wild (a Neo’s favourite), in using the show not tell principle in full flight. Suspense can be had and the ultimate result is better than it really deserves.
All in all, Black Night is a crap trio of shorts and lucky it is redeemed by the HK section once again. One might be wondering why the hell the experts of horror genres like Japan are and Thailand is so boring and shit, but all it shows is one obvious ironic answer – HK is improving and you can tell how much Race and Annie applied themselves to their roles to make it more believable and a better movie than it should be. Full credit should be given and it is a shame that the other two can not follow up the good start. Nonetheless, HK for once proved what they are capable of, but then again it’s applying to a pile of rejected dumps. It is not The Eye, but at least it is watch-able…
I rate it ; HK segment: 7.5/10, Other two: 1/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Director: The Hong Kong story: directed by LEUNG Pak-Kin; starring Annie LIU, Dylan KUO and Race WONG.
The Japanese story: directed AKIYAMA Takahiko; starring Asaka SETO, Takashi KASHIWABARA and Tomoro TAGUCHI.
The Thai story: directed by Thanit Jitnukul; starring Pichanart Sakakam.
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), August 2006