aka Gin Gwai (Original Title), Seeing Ghosts
95 min., 2002
Written by Jojo Hui/Pang Brothers
Directed by Oxide Pang Chun/Danny Pang
My rating: ★★★★
A really good (and sometimes creepy) ghost story with some long lag time.
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Our main character Mun (Lee Sin-Je) begins the movie with a voice over about how the world looks, but the thing is, she has been blind ever since she was 2. She has decided to get a cornea transplant and finally be able to see the world in all its beauty (and how disgusting it is as well). She meets Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou) who is helping her through the recovery and he tells her to call him if anything happens. While in the hospital recovering Mun meets a young girl named Yingying (Yut Lai So) and they become good friends (well as good of friends as an adult and a kid can have). After a little while Mun starts to see strange things. An old lady in the hallway that is there and then she is gone and the same old lady being visited at night by a dark figure (Wisarup Annuar) and the next morning said lady is dead. Is what she is seeing real or is it all in her mind?
The acting is really good throughout the movie. Lee Sin-Je is a great actress who is able to look extremely terrified but not melt over into the realm of looking silly. There are a lot of actors out there who try to look terrified and end up looking like a live action cartoon. She also pulls off the sympathetic character without a problem. You worry about her and what she is going through, hoping that she is going to be fine. Everyone else is also really good, making all of the characters in the movie extremely believable.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the movie was the effects. For the most part they are very subtle only showing what was necessary. Then they give you the full view and it still is effective and doesn’t fall into the realm of silliness. One of my favorites was the elevator scene. Simple makeup effects and some minor wirework make a normal scene into an incredibly creepy scene.
The only real downfall of the movie is the lag time. Sometimes it feels like an hour goes by before anything (and I really do mean anything, I not just talking ghosts or anything like that) happens. There were a lot of times where I was just counting down the minutes until the scene would change. The flashback scenes with Ling (Chutcha Rujinanon) were also drawn out way too long. I understand why they were there and they do in fact serve a good purpose, but at the same time most of them just took way too long to get to a very simple point. If a lot of this extra time would have been cut out, this would have gotten a four hands down, but I just can’t do that when I’m getting bored during a movie waiting for something to happen.Have You Read...?