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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Movie Review: Rigor Mortis

When you hit that point in life when all you want to do is die, what could bring you back from that dark place? In June 2013, Chin Siu-ho was given a chance to find out the answer to that question.

Directing this 105 action/drama/horror is Juno Mak.

Chin Siu-ho as Chin Siu-ho, Anthony Chan as Yau, Kara Hui as Yeung Feng, Lo Hoi-pang as Uncle Yin, Richard Ng as Uncle Tung, Hee-ching Paw as Auntie Mui, Morris Ho as Pak, Billy Lau as Cook and Chung Fat as Gau.

Chin Siu-Ho has moved into an apartment complex, but he doesn't plan on staying long. He's moved in just long enough to kill himself, and he would have succeeded if it wasn't for another tenant named Yau, saving his life. In that brief moment between life and death Chin Siu-Ho's eyes are opened to something unnatural.
Apparently, not all the souls that walk these halls... are living. Something Yau has always known about while living in the complex. Unfortunately, something has found it's way out of the darkness, something Yau hasn't seen for a long time, but he knows just how deadly it can be.

This subtitled Hong Kong horror is a tribute to a 1985 horror comedy film written by Sze-to Cheuk-hon, Barry Wong and Wong Ying called Mr. Vampire. As it turned out, Mr. Vampire was such a hit it spawned a franchise that put out 5 sequels, a theatrical play and a video game called Phantom Fighter (1990 for Nintendo). One of the cool things is that some of the former Mr. Vampire cast members (Chin Siu-ho, Anthony Chan, Billy Lau and Richard Ng) are featured in Rigor Mortis. Sorry, it's random what I find interesting at times. Now on with the show!

Writers Lai-yin Leung and Philip Yung came up with a pretty cool supernatural story. The opening hooked me right off and held my attention all the way through it. Especially as everything started to unfold, I was seriously wondering how all of this was going to end. So finding a film that actually kept me in suspense was like a special treat.
                                               

The playthrough was a mix of cool and weird. Now, some people may find the pace of the film a bit dragging because it does move slow. I thought the pace worked for the film, personally, because visually there's a lot going on in some of the scenes that you could easily miss if they tried to blow through it all with a faster pace.

Now, between the work that Man-Ching Ng did with the cinematography and Enoch Chan with the visual effects, you get a whole lot of cool eye candy throughout the movie. Nothing really gory to warn you about, but there is a lot of blood thrown around. Also, because some people don't like to be caught by surprise - There is a brief rape scene that takes place for a second, to tell a character's back story. With the camera angles they use you get the "idea" of what's going on. Again it's quick and then the flick moves on with the story.

Even though I thought all of the cast did really good. I really liked Anthony Chan's performance and what he did with his character the best. Next up for doing a really cool job would have to be Paw Hee-Ching's role as Auntie Mui.

Overall, yeah, the movie has it's ups and downs. Cool story, slow pace. Cool visuals, weird playthrough. Not really scary, but kind of creepy. Yet, when it's all said and done I thought the film was pretty cool... up till the end. Cause... just wow, I don't know. Anyway, as Mak's first directorial debut I thought it was good.

It's rated NR (not rated) but has violence and brief nudity.

3 stars


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