HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Missing Between the devil and the deep blue sea
Year: 2008
Director: Tsui Hark
Stars: Angelica Lee, Isabella Leong, Chang Chen, Guo Xiao-Dong, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Chang Chen-Yue, Pang Mei-Seung, Poon Cheuk-Ming, Lau Goon-Hung, Cheng Sai-Ho, Cheung Chan-Sang, Kan Wan-To, Li Chi-Jun, Chow Chi-Keung, Wong Tak-Sang, Julie Yip
Genre: Horror, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Psychologist Jing Gao (Angelica Lee) believes deep sea diving can be used to treat those suffering mental health problems. Her friend Xiao Kei (Isabella Leong) introduces Jing to her brother Dave Chen (Guo Xiao-Dong) and the pair fall deeply in love. Dave plans to propose marriage after taking Jing on a dive to explore an ancient ruin submerged for ten-thousand years, but two weeks later his headless corpse is laid out in a funeral parlour and she has no memory of what happened. While Xiao Kei returns to the ocean hoping to retrieve the missing camcorder that could hold the answer, Jing is reacquainted with her former patient Simon (Chang Chen), who may be schizophrenic or else genuinely able to see ghosts and claims Dave delivered a warning about a dangerous intruder from the other side. He somehow transfers his gift to the traumatized Jing who is subsequently assailed by terrifying spirits of the recently deceased. Meanwhile, Xiao Kei returns home with her brother’s severed head but begins behaving strangely, having brought something else back from the deep.

Just as Joey Wong was once typecast as a lovelorn lady ghost, Angelica Lee has become synonymous with heroines who see dead people. Which on the one hand is a shame because she is a gifted actress, but on the other lends these increasingly derivative films a touch of class. In fact, Missing was originally announced as The Eye 3 and for the bulk of its screen time it seems as if visionary Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark is plodding down the same road, albeit with a nautical theme. Ditching his usual hyperkinetic style for a more languid pace, Hark’s considerable visual gifts yield some hypnotic aquatic imagery. Like James Cameron and Luc Besson before him, he seems drawn to the ocean as an alien landscape at once both entrancing and foreboding.

Hark pulls off a handful of creepy scenes making masterful use of nerve-jangling sound effects and shock imagery, but brazenly restages the famous elevator scare from The Eye (2002). The initial plot thread with the heroine coerced into helping a restless spirit make peace with the earthly realm carries that taint of over-familiarity and a procession of hideous floating, rotting and sometimes exploding ghosts do feel like second hand variations on that iconic earlier film. Then just when are about to lament a once great innovator turning derivative, Hark springs a reality-bending, mid-film twist that flips the preceding hour and twenty minutes on its head, in terms of both plot and characters’ roles within the story. Lee is ably supported by the versatile Isabella Leong, who essentially essays three variations on the same character.

Mixing traditional supernatural beliefs with a psychological character study, Hark spins a tangled, often confusing web that while laudable doesn’t quite sustain his ambitions. No-nonsense horror fans may be aghast that the accent is on romance over true terror, but Hark skilfully teases with a conventional ghost story before delivering something wholly benign. The climactic revelation why Jing can’t see the tape that reveals the real reason behind Guo’s death is rather moving as is the heart-rending conclusion, even though the film drags a little too long.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2568 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Tsui Hark  (1950 - )

Hong Kong director, producer, writer and actor and one of the most important figures in modern Hong Kong cinema. Hark majored in film in the US, before returning to his homeland to work in television. Made his directing debut in 1979 with the horror thriller The Butterfly Murders, while 1983's Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain was a spectacular ghost fantasy quite unlike anything in HK cinema at the time. Other key films of this period include Shanghai Blues and the brilliant Peking Opera Blues.

Hark established the Film Workshop production house in 1984, and was responsible for producing such groundbreaking films as John Woo's action classics The Killer and A Better Tomorrow, Ching Siu-Tung's A Chinese Ghost Story and New Dragon Gate Inn, and Yuen Woo-Ping's Iron Monkey. In 1991 Hark revitalised the period martial arts genre and launched the career of Jet Li by directing the hugely successful Once Upon a Time in China, which was followed by several sequels.

Like many Hong Kong directors, Hark gave Hollywood a go in the late nineties and directed Jean-Claude Van Damme in Double Team and Knock Off. He returned home soon after to continue directing and producing movies like Time and Tide, the epic effects-fest Legend of Zu and romantic adventure Seven Swords.

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: