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Step into the Dark
Year: 1998
Lau Ching-Wan and Athena Chu
Director: Wong Jing, Cho Kin-Nam
Producer: Wong Jing
Writer: Wong Jing
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Athena Chu Yan, Emotion Cheung Kam-Ching, Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Ma Tai-Lo, Law Lan, Joe Ma Tak-Chung, Joyce Chan Yin-Hang, Ha Ping, Lee Siu-Kei
The Skinny: Average horror comedy with an above average leading man (Lau Ching-Wan).
by Kozo:
     Benign horror comedy from Wong Jingís factory is a blight on the resume of its leading man, the dependable Lau Ching-Wan. Heís equally solid here, bringing weight to an essentially weightless role. The part is ultimately beneath Lau's talents; this seems like something Louis Koo Tin-Lok should be doing.
     Lau is Care Kwan, a doctor who one evening saves the life of beautiful Faith (Athena Chu) by giving her a rare type O negative blood transfusion. Afterwards she enters his life and falls for him, which is helpful because Kwan just exited a long-term relationship with his despicable high-maintainence girlfriend May May (Ma Tai-Lo). However, things with Faith arenít what they seem, and when the talk of ghosts comes up, Kwan enlists the help of TV spiritual master Sperm Lui (Simon Lui), who chews scenery and generally helps inject some spirit into this otherwise banal flick.
     There is some suspense along the way as the plot comes into focus, but when it finally does there isnít much of a payoff, unlike superior films in this genre like the first and third in the Troublesome Night series. One of the defining characteristics of that series was the presence of Simon Lui, who was so over the top in Troublesome Night that he deserved some sort of an award. Lui is decent here, but the film does little to follow his lead. Able support is given by the likes of Cheung Kam-Ching (who, when controlled, can be quite effective), and horror staple Law Lan. This could have been a decent flick, but the lackluster direction dooms the film to nothing more than an uninspired genre exercise. Tedium has no excuse, especially in HK flicks. (Kozo 1998)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles

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