scare 2 die 嚇死你！(2008) – Hong Kong
A different style of modern HK horror thriller…
Review by Neo: Debutant director Cub Chien Kong-Hon (whose previous work involved assisting the Pang brothers) is ambitious and tries to be different and with some assistance from producer Danny Pang, Scare 2 Die is really a mixed bag. There is no doubt that Cub Chien cleverly used the show not tell principle to make the simple script look more complicated than it is, but some parts of the movie is just outright silly. It doesn’t help that the first story kicked off with goal, then an interesting failure in the second story and finally an ultimate failure in the third. While, Scare 2 Die is good to look at and some shots are even trying to apt the great eyes of the Pang Brothers, but a film with moments and tries to be different does not equates to the definition of a good film. Still, Sam Lee performs well in a fairly interesting first story; See You in You Tube’s Elaine Kong is surprisingly good in a rather non-coherent/ understandable second part and some interesting camera angles explored in the third, but worst story of the movie.
As Neo have always said, horror movies do not have to make sense, as long as it is either scary or thrilling and with the bottom line of being reasonable in its believability. The first part involving Sam Lee was actually funny and while not exactly scary (it’s been a long time since The Eye), despite trying to try some new tricks, at its very base, it was a three act story. However, Cub tries to be overtly ambitious in the second part, by turning a simple 1 act story into something seemingly complicated.
Luckily, the performances from Elaine Kong more than compensated the preceding. It is interesting that Neo just noted Elaine as a more than capable actress, as her screaming face and terrified expressions are well worth nothing. She is adequately cute if not exactly beautiful and her final expression as she witnesses her own heart being eaten is well worth a mention. Credit also goes to director Cub for disguising such a simple 1 act story, but nothing can redeem the final part. The kid Tommy Yuen Man-On is no leading material and his acting is plain crap. He has zero charisma, is not likable, can hardly act and one can not stop wondering why the potential filled Derek Tsang did not get the role. The best thing about the last part is that the kid is scared to death and his death is problem the biggest cheer the audience secretly wanted.
All in all, Scare 2 Die tries hard to be ambitious and different and while the result may well be a mixed bag. Director Cub more than earned his pay check and the inspiration and some stylishly edited sequence is very much credited to the producer Danny Pang. Sam Lee continues to show exactly why he was nominated in the 2006’s Best Actor for Dog Bite Dog in the site annual awards and Elaine Kong confirms Neo estimation of some sort of potential in See You in You Tube. Still, Cub have potential and there is no doubt that he will go on to much better things and the case of Scare 2 Die is really just like a lot of HK movies, if only if the ending is as good as the beginning… (Neo 2008)
I rate it 6/10