Writer: Jillian CheongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Tales From The Dark Part 1"
This movie is not a follow up from the previous film as it tells us three entirely different tales, while bearing similarities with the first film in that it teaches us valuable lessons at the end of every short. Once again the sequel features three short segments adapted from the works of Hong Kong author Lillian Lee.
The first short titled "Pillow" did not exactly portray the elements of a ghost movie, but instead takes the audience on a journey through the dreams of an emotionally scarred woman. The story revolves around an insomniac woman (Cheng Yi) who is unable to sleep due to an accidental death that happened that only she and her husband, Hong (Gordon Lam) knows about. The insomnia has put a toll on Cheng Yi, making her look pale and sickly, and along with her long black locks she might be even mistaken as a ghostly figure. Unable to fall asleep she goes on a hunt for the perfect pillow. She finds it, but soon she starts having vivid dreams of her deceased lover, though in reality becomes more of a nightmare than a dream. The short seemed to explore the realms of dreams telling us that dreams are a form of escapism, however, in reality the feelings of sorrow and hurt still have to be dealt with.
It seems that abandoned schools have become a favourite location for ghost stories as the second story takes on a popular childhood game called "Hide And Seek", with a Hong Kong twist. The story revolves around the reunion of a group of friends who takes a visit to their old primary school for the last time before being demolished. Among the friends Fatty Keung (Chan Yiu Wing) plays the loud and boisterous leader of the group. As the night falls, the group starts to play the game of 'Master and Ghost'. As the legend goes, this game has been avoided for generations since it invokes hauntings. The short directed by Lawrence Lau was a little confusing at the start as it continuously showed flashbacks of a distressed Fatty Keung along with his friend Char Siew discussing about the incident that happened back at the school grounds. Furthermore, the abrupt ending also seemed more comedic than scary.
The last segment titled "Black Umbrella" is the goriest as well as the most nonsensical among the three shorts, set in the infamous ghosts' month where the gate of hell opens for the spirits to roam the earth. Teddy Robin, who also directs the short, plays Uncle Lam, a kind hearted man who often frequents the streets of Hong Kong late at night. However, things start to go really awry when he chances upon a prostitute named Jennifer (Aliza Mo). Like I said, the short was nonsensical because the lesson from this story tells us not to trust a person with an umbrella as they are restless ghosts who are looking for their next victim. Also, expect a few jump scares and a whole bunch of random mashed into this twisted story.
All in all, the reviewer preferred the first instalment as the three shorts had a deeper and more valuable meaning that was much more relatable. This film would have done so much better if it wasn't for the abrupt storylines. The three shorts seem just for the purpose of putting out another movie.Cinema Online, 07 August 2013