Wednesday, 22 December 2010

,

The Ghosts Must Be Crazy [Review]


Opinion: B-

Despite being a local film industry veteran, this J Team production feels somewhat experimental in nature as it attempts to tackle horror with a twist of comedy with a new direction. Featuring two differing tales of "hor-medy", one is helmed by Boris Boo while the other marks the debut directorial effort by Mark Lee that is lacklustre but promising.


The Ghosts Must Be Crazy features 2 stories - "The Day Off" and "Ghost Bride".

Directed by Boris Boo (director of Phua Chu Kang The Movie), The Day Off is about Ah Nan (John Cheng) and Ah Lei (Wang Lei) going for their annual in-camp training and they meet a very on Platoon Commander.

The second story of the movie is directed by the first time director, Mark Lee, a comedian and host familiar to most households. Ghost Bride is about a man Ah Hui (Henry Thia) who is unlucky in love. He meets a stranger, Ah Hai (Mark Lee), who promises him fortune and blessings if he seeks help from 'brothers and sisters' in the netherworld.

Boo's opening tale is highly in reminiscence of Banjong Pisanthanakun's segment "In the Middle" in 2008's 4bia, a theatrical collection of four horror films by different filmmakers. Incidentally, "In the Middle" is also one of the best case example of "hor-medy" so far. If there's an Asian reigning title for the genre, it'd be Pisanthanakun without doubt. It is no wonder why there's probably some reference between "The Day Off" and "In the Middle".

Similarly set in the deep tropical forests and featuring some hilarious bold response from the characters during their ghostly encounters, it should be a delight for those who have yet to watch "In the Middle". With an amended main plot that revolves around a military reservist In-Camp-Training (ICT), John Cheng and Wang Lei reprise their incredible national service chemistry like they did in last year's "Where Got Ghost?". Cheng and Lei craft an excellent partnership on the silver screen and remains locally one of the best, they are the best military bunkmates you can have during reservist.

Together with a couple of new talents such as Chua En Lai as the Commanding Officer, David Bala as the Sergeant Major, and Dennis Chew as a fellow reservist, you get about the right mix of laughs and scares in Boo's tale with a touch of twists that I'll not reveal.

David Bala has been propelled into the limelight ever since his memorable performance as the funny security guard whose natural demeanour is a major source of laughter. He enters into his tamil-sprouting mode whenever the occasion calls for it and he never fails to draw out every single audience member's roaring laughter (it is very much reduced in this film).

Despite being such a talented natural comedian, he is casted in a somewhat irritable role who seems to be shouting at the top of his lungs from start to end. I believe a better scripted character with varying traits will help the situation, the mini-episodes crafted for his previous security guard role were the best examples of indication.

Mark Lee's second tale lingers heavily within the horror zone with just a light dosage of comedy (during one casual scene at the incense paper mart). Perhaps being his first feature project, he takes it seriously and he does have a main theme and message to bring across to the audience through his film. This is something that Boo's tale lacks, as I find myself having difficulty in summing up his film in a nutshell sentence.

Mark Lee's film is about how one should never make deals with the Devil.

It is evident that his techniques are raw and lost, but it is justifiable as a first time film-maker. Nevertheless, his ideas and intentions are there for display. If you are able to look past his mediocre technicalities, you might be able to gather how his film could have been better with increased film-making competency.

He subjects his film to a high degree of CG animations, a strategy that aids in assisting him to achieve what he's unable to in live-action as a Director. Discount the cheesy looking animations, it reveals Lee's ambition and desire for greatness even as a debut film-maker. However, his decision to act and direct in this film is really one that I personally do not advise. It diverts all focus and is really not desirable for a first endeavour.

I'm intrigued in seeing future Mark Lee directorial works.

Do catch this film for a dose of local brand "hor-medy" with popcorns when it releases in Singapore theatres 06 January 2011.

*UPDATE: The Ghost Must Be Crazy will be sneaking this Christmas weekend from 24 - 26 December!

(Gala Premiere screening courtesy of InCinemas.sg)


3 comments:

  1. There's the Gods Must be Crazy...now, The Ghosts Must be Crazy! :P ahhah..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never liked Where Got Ghost coz I found it quite silly, so I think this would be Boris Boo's same old brand new effort. But I'm intrigued with Mark Lee's direction.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @JEMSEN AHA that's a nice one ;)

    @Jaccstev Yes, although I'm not sure if you will agree with me on Mark Lee's potential in directing. His techniques are not considered impressive in this film (it's his first time), but his general ideas are there.

    ReplyDelete

Search SON:sation