HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  49 Days You Can't Go Home AgainBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Lam Kin-Lung
Stars: Stephen Fung, Gillian Chung, Raymond Wong, Jess Zhang Qian, Kau Lap-Yi, Steven Cheung, Wong Yat-Fei, Lo Meng, Xue Bin, Debbie Goh, Miao Liang, Wang De-Yu, Cui Li-Ming, Liu Deng-Chi, May Xue, Wang Hong, Xu Min, Shi Xiao-Ju, Yuan Min, Ho Ching, Wu Ren-Yuan
Genre: Horror, Drama, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lau Shing (Stephen Fung) leaves behind his wife Man-Wei (Jess Zhang Qian) and little daughter Ling-Gi (Kau Lap-Yi) in their hometown, to start a prosperous herbal medicine business in turn-of-the-century Hong Kong. Four years on, Lau’s lovely business partner Susie (Debbie Goh) begs him to stay, but he is set on returning home. Following their late night dinner, Susie catches Lau’s trusted right-hand man Pang Shi (Raymond Wong) setting fire to their shop to repay his triad debts. The fire kills all of Lau’s friends and he winds up framed for arson. Kindly prison guard Fong Lik (Steven Cheung) cajoles his cousin, feisty young lawyer Lam Siu-Chin (Gillian Chung, one half of Cantopop duo “Twins”) into taking his case.

Her efforts are hampered by Pang and the triads pressuring witnesses not to testify, while still-missing Susie periodically pops up as a scarlet spectre. On the final day of Lau’s trial, an accident puts Siu-Chin in a coma and her client is sentenced to death. But the Lam family are experts in all things supernatural. Aided by an enigmatic executioner (Lo Meng, onetime member of The Five Deadly Venoms), Siu-Chin springs Lau out of jail. They have only forty-nine days to clear Lau’s name and protect his family from the predatory Pang, who is after the deed to their property.

Rhinoceros horn, a crucial bit of kit for Chinese herbalists, has a major plot function in this engaging supernatural thriller. Supposedly used to massage pressure points or scrape toxins, here it’s mixed into a magic candle that helps reveal a crucial plot twist. It’s a twist horror fans will have seen many times before, but unusually occurs midway into the story and is quite well done, precipitating a series of heartbreaking turns in Lau’s seemingly ill-fated life.

49 Days draws heavily upon traditional Chinese beliefs and like many Hong Kong horror movies, hinges on a clash between old and new. Modern girl Siu-Chin is a constant calamity to her superstitious father (Wong Yat-Fei), having inadvertently offended local spirits by peeing on sacred ground, and initially takes on Lau’s case only to prove her law credentials are the result of her own hard work, not Mr. Lam’s Taoist prayers. The mystery unfolds by how characters interpret seemingly ambiguous events, filtered through their growing knowledge of the supernatural, much the same as Lau re-interprets the Chinese ideograms on a letter from his family to his clueless friend.

Some sources credit veteran producer/actor Tsui Siu Ming as co-director on this film which, if true, speaks to his love of weaving traditional superstitions into offbeat storylines, most notably in his geomancy-themed action-adventure Bury Me High (1991). In his first genre outing, Lam Kin-Lung’s occasionally hectic direction leaves a few episodes hard to follow on first viewing, but he draws a compelling performance from Raymond Wong as the odious killer and weaves an affecting story. This is the kind of horror film distributors market as a “supernatural thriller”, since it gently chills rather than strikes hearts with terror. That said, an eerie sequence with an urn-dwelling ghost and an attack by a flock of demonic ravens are suitably striking, while the nightmarish blaze that turns Lau’s life upside down is a brilliantly staged set-piece.

Comic antics from the Lam family provide a welcome counterpoint to the increasingly tragic story, although winningly it is their expertise in ghostly goings on that helps solve the mystery. Excellent performances from Stephen Fung and Gillian Chung, almost unrecognisable as the feuding teenage siblings in House of Fury (2005), especially during their rooftop scene wherein shy Lam confesses her love, but only in English so Lau won’t understand. After a fantastically tense final showdown, the conclusion strikes the right melancholy balance between heartbreak and hope.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4981 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
  Desbris M
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: