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Year: 2002
Julian Cheung and Tse Kwan-Ho
Director: Billy Chung Siu-Hung
Producer: Bee Chan
Cast: Julian Cheung Chi-Lam, Maju Ozawa, Tse Kwan-Ho, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Yoyo Chen, Lam Suet, Mary Kwan, Eddy Ko Hung, Conroy Chan Chi-Chung
The Skinny: Rather quiet horror flick which contains the usual evil ghosts, attempted exorcisms, and flashes of creepiness. However, too much is undeveloped and the whole film feels rather unnecessary.
by Kozo:
     Billy Chung directed this latest Asian horror attempt, which takes many familiar elements and does nothing very new with them. Julian Cheung is Jim, who hosts a TV talk show on supernatural events. When his career is in jeopardy, he and ex-girlfriend Minako (big-eyed Japanese idol Maju Ozawa) enlist the aid of Reverend Yeung (Tse Kwan-Ho) to perform an exorcism. His target is a schoolgirl named Yen (Yoyo Chan), but her case is far from isolated. The same ghost that possessed her also possessed Min (Sam Lee), a truck driver who slaughtered his whole family. It seems there's a nasty ghost out for revenge, and Yen and Min aren't the only ones involved. Meanwhile, Reverend Yeung pines for his dead wife (Mary Kwan).
     While Billy Chung has directed some effective films in the past, Possessed sadly doesn't match up. The primary reason for this is the screenplay. Though Chung does his best to load the film with thoughtful direction, the lack of a decent script makes the film plod along aimlessly. The two exorcisms that occur in the first thirty minutes spark things, but after that the film enters a maddeningly slow section where everybody seems to be depressed about one thing or another. Minako is depressed because she still loves Jim. Reverend Yeung is depressed because his mentor (Eddy Ko) has cancer, and he still misses his wife. And, Jim is depressed because his show is about to be taken over by a shady Feng Shui expert (Lam Suet).
     Presumably, the mass depression everyone experiences is meant to elucidate character, but it really doesn't resolve much, especially when the ghost's storyline comes to the forefront. Things happen, and conflicts are supposed to be resolved, but are they? Like most of the current wave of Asian horror, Possessed uses creepy atmosphere, quiet moments and spare music to unnerve. Sadly, the tricks come off as just that: tricks. Without the proper grounding in character, you're hard pressed to care about what happens onscreen. All frights seem to be just shock frights, and there doesn't exist a genuine fear which sticks to your gut. In the end, the film can only rely on its cast, who don't really stand out here. Tse Kwan-Ho brings dignity to his performance, but whatever effort he gives appears to be wasted. This is pretty much an average HK horror flick, which means it's not necessary viewing at all. (Kozo 2003)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital Mono
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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