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The Second Coming
|     review    |     notes     |     availability     |

The Second Coming

Maggie Siu and Kenny Wong experience The Second Coming.

Chinese:

重生

 
Year: 2014  
Director: Herman Yau Lai-To, Raymond Ng Tin-Chi
Producer: Raymond Ng Tin-Chi, Flora Goh
Writer: Raymond Ng Tin-Chi
Cast:

Maggie Siu Mei-Kei, Kenny Wong Tak-Bun, Don Li Yat-Long, Joey Leong, Siu Yam-Yam, Lam Wai

The Skinny: Substandard Hong Kong horror film with some of the worst visual effects you'll ever see. The flat tone and uninteresting characters add to the tedium. Co-director Herman Yau has obviously done better.
 
Review
by Kozo:

A few grisly moments make The Second Coming occasionally diverting, but otherwise this is a substandard Hong Kong horror flick. Herman Yau is listed as director but thereís another driving force: Ng Tin-Chi, a real-life doctor who wrote the screenplay and co-directs the film. The story concerns the poor Chan family, particularly its matriarch Jen (Maggie Siu), who chooses to abort her second child with a homemade remedy made of ginger and hot peppers, which she inserts into an orifice not known to take either of those things. Jenís sacrifice is due to the familyís lack of money, as she and husband Ming (Kenny Wong) are already saddled with a five year-old son. Ming is not thrilled by the news of a second child but he gets understandably worked up when he finds Jen bleeding out on the toilet, and the family quickly rushes her to the hospital. Cut to the present day and life seems A-OK. Ming and Jen live in a sizable house in the New Territories while their son, Sunny (Don Li), has grown and is currently away at school.

However, the couple did have that second child: Lucy (Joey Leong) survived the harrowing abortion attempt and is beloved by both Jen and Sunny, though Ming regards her with a cold distance. On her birthday, Lucy receives a poodle, and the petís first act is to scamper outside and dig up an old greenish jar. Lucy opens the jar and then IT ALL GOES TO HELL. Obvious parallels to Pandoraís Box aside, something is loosed from the jar (in the form of a moth, actually) that causes Lucy to see gory illusions, leading to pain, possession and the unearthing of the familyís deep, dark secrets. Said secrets are pretty potent ones, and make for a fine horror premise. However, thatís what the film mostly is: a premise. The Second Coming provides the requisite horrific images, but remains unengaging because the characters arenít fleshed out or made that sympathetic or interesting. Also, despite room for black humor and satire, the film mostly stays on a somber, serious track, save for one gag involving a dog. Youíll know it when you see it.

Thanks to its unwavering tone, Second Coming is less entertaining than it could have been. The storyline has its share of dark content, and at least one despicable villain, but despite the occasional bloody image and some OK suspense the film never reaches the extremes that would make it more unsettling and memorable. Likewise, the performances are nothing to write home about, and some of the actors (like Don Li and Joey Leong) are simply not very good. The film makes its strongest impressions during two violent scenes (one implied, one shown), and also, ignominiously, through its visual effects, which are awful. The spectral visions are bad enough in their dodgy CGI, but the climax feels like an acid-induced flashback to the dancing baby from Ally McBeal. Also, forget any religious implications from the English language title. The film has nothing to do with messianic prophecies Ė though who knows, they never did explain that evil moth. Seriously, if God comes up during The Second Coming, it probably means the viewer used his name in vain. (Kozo, 8/2014)

 
Notes:

• This review is based on the 2D version of the film.

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Vicol Entertainment Ltd. (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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