Plagued by horrifying
visions of ghosts, pretty young translator Cheung Yan (JULY RHAPSODY's
Karena Lam Kar-yan) consults psychiatrist Jim Law (Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing).
Their initial appointment is a bit awkward, and not entirely rewarding,
but Yan soon warms up to Jims obvious sincerity and tenderness.
After further consultations, Jim recognizes the source of the girl's
problems and eventually helps her to regain equilibrium. With Yan
now no longer his patient, the two become close, but Jim's own well-being
soon starts to disintegrate and he experiences the sort of inexplicable
visions that previously drove Yan to attempt suicide.
On the one hand, INNER SENSES is yet
another HK horror thriller indebted to both THE SIXTH SENSE and RING.
Fortunately, it is also a very well-acted and engrossing picture that
leans more towards psychological than visceral thrills (though it
does sport a couple of the latter that stick with you afterwards).
Director Law Chi-leung (DOUBLE TAP) is able to generate and sustain
a subtly creepy atmosphere and the storyline remains true to its internal
logic, thankfully avoiding the temptation of excessively cheap shocks.
Sadly, real-life has inadvertently heightened the film's effectiveness.
The sequence wherein a ghost tries to goad Jim into leaping from the
top of a building, the same method Leslie Cheung would use to end
his own life a few months after the movie's release, now takes on
an extra level of potency that leaves it almost heartbreaking to behold.
The supporting cast includes Waise Lee Chi-hung (as a medical colleague
of Jim), Valerie Chow Kar-ling, and Norman Tsui Siu-keung (sporting
what could very well be the worst toupee in the annals of HK cinema).
Law and Lam recently re-teamed for another thriller, KOMA (2004),
which is equally effective.
|Although it lacks anamorphic enhancement
and is a bit on the dark side, the 1.80:1 presentation boasts fairly
good resolution and decent hues. The original sync sound Cantonese and
a Mandarin dub are included, along with optional English subtitles;
the stereo mix is very directional and atmospheric (the stiff, unnatural
movements of the main ghost are imaginatively communicated with a loud
and unearthly sound that suggests creaking wood). The Canto track can
also be monitored in DTS. A worthwhile behind-the-scenes documentary
(11 minutes), filmographies for Cheung, Yam, and Law, the HK theatrical
trailer, and a video promo spot make up the supplements.
DVD is available at Amazon:
Images in this review courtesy
of Tai Seng. To read captions, hover mouse over image.
here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography
© John Charles 2000 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.
NTSC – Region 0
Tai Seng Entertainment
Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS
Sync Sound Cantonese and
Dubbed Mandarin Language
4:3 Letterbox (1.80:1)
Ratings & Consumer Information
- Germany: 16
- Hong Kong: IIB
- Quebec: 13+
- Singapore: PG
- South Korea: 12
- Contains moderate violence and horror,
and some coarse language
FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:
- 10 A Masterpiece
- 9 Excellent
- 8 Highly Recommended
- 7 Very Good
- 6 Recommended
- 5 Marginal Recommendation
- 4 Not Recommended
- 3 Poor
- 2 Definitely Not Recommended
- 1 Dreadful