-197C MURDER aka A CHILLING COSPLAY (冰裸杀) DVD (2014)

SYNOPSIS:  A young and rich lady is mysteriously murdered and her body is found in cosplay dress-up. Inspector Wayne begins investigation on the case and soon finds another lady murdered in the same modus operandi. Wayne comes across Jeana, a common friend of the 2 victims who shows him an old photograph of the 3 of them in cosplay uniform. Shockingly, the dress-ups of the victims were exactly the same when they died. A picture of Jeana with an ice piton fiercely plunged into is found making her the next target. What is the deep hatred between them and who is the killer?


Oh mine, is this the fourth Wong Jing’s related DVD review in a year already? Executive produced by Wong, -197°C Murder or otherwise known as A Chilling Cosplay in Mainland China is a psychological thriller with a mystery-within-a-mystery twist that is surprisingly watchable if you are not in a mood for reruns and Korean dramas.

Two rich women dressed in cosplay costumes were found murdered in mysterious circumstances. Detective Wayne (Simon Yam) and his teammates soon realizes an ex-classmate of the two women, Jeana (Vivan Hsu), an antique seller is the next target. But what’s the motive behind the killing? And why is there cosplay involved? 

Those who are expecting a perverted thriller with naughty bits and nudity ought to consider Wong’s older works instead of sticking around. -197°C Murder teases audience with some back nudity and that’s about all it is since this a SARFT (State Administration of Radio, Film and Television) approved production after all.

What director Wang Guangli does well here is having one of Hong Kong’s veteran actor Simon Yam in the lead role. His presence is sufficient enough for audience to forget how shallow the entire mystery thriller is. After last year’s The Constable, Yam continues to challenge himself in an action role, one that requires him to run a few miles, nearly killed himself by falling off a building with a baddie and ludicrously crashed through a roof to save Jeana during the climax.  

Newly wed Vivian Hsu as always served as the obligatory female lead without much lasting impression. Far more impressive though are little known Chen Sicheng and Wu Yue who put in satisfying performances. As hard as the three credited writers attempt to stir up some meanings out of it, -197°C Murder still feels as a predictable and contrived affair with a surprise twist in the end that only muddles it further. To the filmmakers’ credit at least it looks pretty much a polished title in terms of technicalities and I suspect Wong Jing probably only puts his name down to garner some attention.      




The dual soundtrack is a plus and the visual aspect is overall respectable.   



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Thriller
Starring: Simon Yam, Vivian Hsu, Yin Er, Yuan Hong. Chen Sicheng, O Ti, Wu Yue, Li Ai, Winnie Leung, Macy Wu
Director: Wang Guangli
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Year Made: 2013




Languages: Mandarin/Cantonese
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time:  1 hr 32 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East Entertainment