Minor horror-comedy from director
Wilson Yip, who went to to direct actual good movies. 01:00
AM is a typical Hong Kong horror comedy, which means there
are three stories related by a single thread. In this case,
they all take place at 1:00 am, and involve ghosts of some
sort. Periodically, people get scared and a variety
of mild hijinks occur. Sometimes, there really isn't much
to get scared about, and it's merely the characters reacting
to imagined stimuli. In some ways, the events of this film
are not dissimilar to those at a junior high school
In story one, nurse Veronica Yip
must safeguard a comatose popstar (Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming),
but she starts seeing him and some strange girl wandering
around at 1:00 a.m. every evening. Story two involves Anita
Yuen, a psychology student who sets out to interview a ghost.
Armed with her trusty tape recorder Ka-Ming (the name of Leslie
Cheung's character in He's a Woman, She's a Man), she
proceeds to the site of a rumored ghost girl who wears her
hair in a queue. Unfortunately, Yuen's car breaks down, whereupon
she spends the next twenty minutes scaring herself silly.
Story three is the one with a logical payoff, and features
Tsui Kam-Kong and Jordan Chan as buddy traffic cops with a malfunctioning radar camera. What they discover is that
some old lady appears in the pictures. Not surprisingly, the
two freak out and worry themselves silly.
in an industry overrun with them, this ultra-mild spine-tingler is
neither scary nor overtly funny. The threat of death or physical
maiming is minimal; people may get scared but
there's very little actual dread, and there's never the sense that somebody's going to get majorly screwed
over by the roving spirits. Without any actual suspense, any and all interest must be sustained by the stars'
personal charisma and the hope that whatever onscreen worrying
they're doing will actually be interesting. The film partially succeeds, but with very little character
or tension, the exercise just hangs limply, like a wet rag.
Watching 01:00 AM is like noticing that one of your shoes is
missing a shoelace. Sure, you wonder where your shoelace went,
but is that enough to get you all freaked out? Most likely
not. And if it does freak you out, then I suggest counseling.