A team of scientists led by Hashimoto has managed to capture
the energy of a ghost child, thanks to their newly invented
device called Menger Sponge. The Child, isolated in an empty
flat moves his lips to words no one understands. Hashimoto
enlists special agent Ye Qi-Dong who is able to read on lips
in order to figure out how this child can shed light on life...and
especially life after death...
often than not, when movie distributors decide to market a
film as a horror picture, the credibility level rarely entices
the self-important audience to give it a chance. Such is the
case of most Asian horror movies released recently.
being fair and just, we religiously go through every review
material with the utmost effort to tell you what’s good,
and what’s not. Trust us, this Taiwan production is
definitely worth your time.
relatively new director, Su Chao-Bin’s work brings elements
of horror, sci-fi, thriller and most importantly, human drama
together in a 108-minute movie that has something to please
everyone. With a screenplay that is written by Su himself,
the film tells the story of a group of scientists who has
miraculously confined the energy of a ghost child in a room.
And in the spirit (forgive us for the pun) of the greedy human
nature, things get out of hand when research and investigations
go horribly wrong.
is what we’d call an original horror plot, with some
intelligence and thought process injected into the story.
Su was nominated for his screenplay at the 43rd Golden Horse
Awards, alongside with a few other nominations for the movie.
It eventually took home the trophy for Best Visual Effects.
impressive computer graphics and animation, this flick does
not turn to cheap scares and grossed-out prosthetics to scare
the audience. The atmosphere is nicely built up to gripping
impressed us the most is the attempt at bringing out human
nature with the help of a touching tear-inducing story about
the deceased child – it is definitely something different
from the typical horror flicks about vengeful spirits.
alas, the movie also tries to be too ambitious, resulting
in a considerably messy conclusion. And we cannot forgive
some of the blatantly in-your-face scare tactics that got
us laughing instead of freaking us out. The actress we sympathize
most with is Wan Fang who plays a dangerous spirit who kills
her victims in the scariest ways. The respectable singer appears
out of a beef noodle bowl and sprawls on her fours across
the streets – these are the most guffaw-worthy moments
of the movie. Other than that, the rest of the cast which
includes Chang Chen, Yosuke Eguchi, Karena Lam and Barbie
Hsu does a decent job of carrying the movie through.
not perfect, this production is still intelligent enough for
our liking, given its merits which are sorely absent in many
other Asian horror flicks.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The chockfull of bonus materials in this DVD makes
it a worthy purchase. If only other DVD producers put in some
effort to put together features like this, viewers can understand
the movie better. And it doesn’t hurt to increase sales
– The highlight of this two-odd minute trailer has to
be Hsu’s chilling makeup. Although it tells you about
the fate of her character, just the look of the white makeup
on this popular host-actress-singer is worth the spoiler in
The Making Of – The 30-minute feature
sheds light on different aspects of the movie. Besides the
usual good things said by the main cast and crew, you’d
get a clearer picture on the concept of silk in the story.
You’ll also know the fates of some of the characters
in the movie if you watched this feature first. Particularly
interesting are the segments on make-up and special effects.
We still cannot get Hsu’s creepy make-up out of our
– The 12-minute feature highlights some of the more
interesting scenes from the actual movie. Yes, we are still
haunted by Hsu’s pale make-up in one of the chosen scenes,
despite repeated viewing. Shudders.
Ending – In this alternate ending, we see Eguchi’s
character facing the consequences of his sinister intentions.
Oh no, even in this 3-minute segment, we Hsu’s hollow
eyes stare at us, sending shivers down our spines.
Scenes – A glimpse at what scenes landed up
on the editing floor. These 11 minutes of footage includes
one which Eguchi and Hsu attempt to have some hot sex, before
something unfortunate happens. And yes, we still cannot escape
from Hsu’s eerie make-up in one of the deleted scenes.
Scenes – In this three-odd minute segment,
we are treated to bad takes that happened on set. Why oh why,
are we still frightened by Hsu’s disturbing make-up
here? Despite the cute synthesizer music playing in the background,
the fact that we saw 9 bad takes still does not do our minds
Day With Ye Qi-Dong – This is basically a five-minute
clip which takes different scenes from the movie and sums
it up as one day in Chang’s character’s life.
Thankfully, we do not get to see any of Hsu’s pale make-up
Day With Hashimoto – This three-minute clip
works the same way as the previous one. And the day ends peacefully
because Hsu’s scary make-up does not make its presence
felt here either.
The visual transfer is digital clear and enhances your viewing
pleasure, especially during scenes where computer effects
are used. There is audio option in the film’s original
Mandarin and Japanese dialogue in Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1.
by John Li