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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

If there are 19 Levels of Hell, this may be one of ‘em…

Naraka 19

Gillian Chung leads a group of teen girls in a search for the elusive 19th Level of Hell in Carol Lai Miu-Suet’s Naraka 19. Little does the audience realize that the film itself is actually the 19th level of hell — The Hell of Insufferable Boredom. Produced by Catherine Mun with a script by Lai and Thirteen Chan, the movie mixes equal parts One Missed Call, Re-Cycle, Whispering Corridors, and maybe even a smidgen of The Da Vinci Code to tell its hellacious tale of teenage girls in peril, all of which results in a horror movie that inspires neither terror nor dread. The movie was purportedly inspired by an internet novel; take that for what it’s worth.

The movie suffers on a number of counts: the identity of the film’s villainous mastermind is telegraphed early on, the ending is unnecessarily ambiguous, and none of the supporting players make much of an impression. To her credit, Gillian Chung makes for a likable lead, and she manages to look suitably frightened most of the time. Still, the way in which she and others interact with the CG-rendered hell makes the “scary” scenes seem limp and patently fake.

So unless you’re a Twins fanatic or have no problem wasting time and/or money on disposable horror, you’ll probably want to skip Naraka 19. Lord, I wish I did. (2007/2011)

Grade: D

For a more detailed look at the film, read Kozo’s review on the main site.

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