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WHERE GOT GHOST? (Singapore)

  Publicity Stills of
"Where Got Ghost?"
(Courtesy of GV)

Genre: Comedy/Horror
Director: Jack Neo, Boris Boo
Cast: Jack Neo, Henry Thia, Mark Lee, Marcus Chin, Richard Low, John Cheng, Tay Yin Yin, Wang Lei, Lai Ming
RunTime: 1 hr 46 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG
Official Website:

Opening Day: 13 August 2009


"Where Got Ghost?" is a Horror-Comedy Chinese Movie. 3-in-1 Horror tales told in a good old comedy fashion.

Roadside Got Ghost
Swindlers Cai, Fu and Shou have a new scam - using a hotline to make random calls to people, promising them fortune. Those who win the lottery are required to pay commission to Cai or be scared into submission. One day, Cai receives a phone call. The caller gives Cai deploying the same hotline trick. Believing it is a copycat of his scam, Cai naturally disregards the call, but goes ahead and tries his luck with the given number anyway. To his surprise, he wins. Mysterious happenings assume...

Forest Got Ghost
Nan and Lei return for army reservists' training. They learn that the place they will be send is the widely known 'haunted hill', so they take the shortcut. Suddenly, the 'haunted hill' seems to come alive - tombstones, red dress spirit and other strange sightings. Then it rains. Nan and Lei seek refuge at Yin Yin's house, a girl they just met. Little do they know their road to hell has been cut short...

House Got Ghost
It is the Lunar 7th Month, weird sightings happen at home, children can only think it is the late mother's doings. The truth slowly surface as they begin their road trip only this time it seems to be more than what they bargain for...

Movie Review:

One of the easiest ways to come up with a story idea for a movie is to cash in on a cultural event or festival. This is exactly what Jack Neo has done for his latest big screen effort to capitalize on the upcoming seventh month of the Chinese calendar a.k.a. Ghost Month when spirits are released from hell for a month according to Chinese belief, or maybe it is his countermove in response to Royston Tan's "881" that centres on 'getai' singers during the Ghost Month. Whichever is the case, there is no denying that "Where Got Ghost?" is yet another typical Jack Neo film featuring his usual gang of comedic actors and his unique Singaporean brand of humour.

Instead of a single story, Neo has offered us not two, but three horror-comedy tales. "Roadside Got Ghost" starts off the film by providing a crime-does-not-pay lesson as seen from the viewpoint of three swindlers who have offended a ghost. In the limelight is veteran actor Richard Low, who displays his trademark arrogance and rudeness as the swindlers' boss Cai. He is highly effective in making Cai a despisable character that viewers will find themselves looking forward to his eventual comeuppance, especially with his constant boast of 'I can't help it if I have a good brain' in Hokkien. Among the three stories, "Roadside Got Ghost" is the shortest and most evenly-paced, making it a worthy appetizer for the other two stories that follow.

"Forest Got Ghost" relates to those of us who have undergone army reservist training in the forest and stresses the importance of not taking shortcuts. Wang Lei (previously appearing in "881" as a parody of Chen Lei the Taiwanese Hokkien singer) and John Cheng (more popularly known as Ah Nan) play two men taking part in their forest reservist training, only to find themselves having more than physical exhaustion and strict officers to worry about after deviating from their supposed route. They encounter a female ghost at night before meeting a mysterious lady (Tay Yin Yin) who provides them with shelter from rain at her house. The most interesting point of this story is figuring out whether the lady is a ghost. Jack Neo keeps us guessing while raising some goosebumps in the process with a few 'boo!' moments thrown in. However, viewers have to endure a long-winded sequence of events before we reach the payoff, causing this to be the weakest part of the entire film.

Closing the film is "House Got Ghost", an unofficial sequel to 2008's "Money No Enough 2" which continues the story about a year after the three brothers' mother has passed away. Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia and the entire cast from "Money No Enough 2" reprise their roles along with veteran Malaysian actress Lai Ming as their dead mother who returns to haunt them for some unknown reason. Those who have seen "Money No Enough 2" would be delighted that the trademark humourous bits from that film involving the mother and her three sons are recycled here, such as the Mickey Mouse bra and the 'have you eaten?' jokes. Still, there are genuine scary moments to be seen including one which is clearly inspired by the Japanese horror classic "The Ring". The moral lesson story structure from "Money No Enough 2" is applied here again, with Jack Neo imparting to us that true blessings are more about having a peaceful and healthy life rather than wealth.

As is the case with most of Neo's films, "Where Got Ghost?" derives a lion's share of its humour from the Hokkien language and Singaporean way of life such as the obsession with 4D lotteries and national service jargons, so those who have no knowledge of both will have a tough time enjoying this film. As far as the horror elements are concerned, the film does not disappoint, since at least it meets the requirement of scaring viewers when they are supposed to feel scared. The use of computer generated imagery (CGI) helps to intensify the fear factor too. In fact, the CGI technology for the film, which has improved by leaps and bounds in comparison to "Money No Enough 2", is used appropriately to enhance the realism of certain key scenes without overshadowing the storyline.

Being a joint directorial effort from Jack Neo and first-time director Boris Boo, the film still has room for improvement in terms of its writing - specifically when it comes to keeping the build-up at a bearable length before the payoff as I have mentioned in the "Forest Got Ghost" segment. Seen as a whole, "Where Got Ghost?" feels like it should have been a made-for-TV production, but I guess it is only shown in cinemas because of a better budget and its Hokkien language usage which prevents it from being shown on our local TV channels.

The issue of including "House Got Ghost" as a sequel to "Money No Enough 2" is also a potential topic of discussion as to whether it is a masterstroke on Neo's part or a lazy tactic of milking the "Money No Enough 2" cash cow through recycling the same cast and jokes as well as inserting the same product placements. Nevertheless, Neo's attempt in blending horror and comedy is passable enough that Neo film fans will have fun out of this film from its beginning right up to its end credits when the outtakes are shown, while Neo might be shouting 'Huat ah!' (which means getting rich in Hokkien) once its box office results are out.

Movie Rating:

(Expect the usual Jack Neo antics coupled with some terrifying scares for a memorable Ghost Month)

Review by Tan Heng Hau


. Love Matters (2009)

. Money No Enough 2 (2008)

. Ah Long Pte Ltd (2008)

. Just Follow Law (2007)

. Men In White (2007)




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