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The Returning (1994)


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

Not a typical HK movie. This is a psychological ghost/horror movie, with no gore but instead creates suspense mainly through atmosphere and through subtle cues, much like the recent Visible Secret or its American counterpart, 6th Sense.

Wu Chien Lien plays Elaine, the wife of a book editor (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) who is preparing a book on female HK author Siu Lau who died some 50 years earlier under mysterious circumstances. As part of his research, they move into the house where she lived and died, and soon mysterious things begin to happen. It appears that the house may be haunted by the spirit of Siu Lau, who is trying to possess Elaine.

I don't want to give anything away, but this is a showcase for Wu Chien-Lien (who won an award for her performance here, I think). She in effect plays two characters, often having to switch between them from one moment to the other, and pulls this off very convincingly. The movie starts out very slow, but builds tension all the way to the twist ending. The cinematography is gorgeous, and while the plot does have some holes, I would recommend this one if you like this type of movie.


Reviewed by: Sasami
Date: 12/21/2000
Summary: Interesting and creepy

Although not without flaws, this movie is suspenseful enough to keep your attention. After a while, just hearing the song gave me chills! Nice plot twist in the end, even though it was left quite vague and hanging. Good acting all around, kudos to Ng Sin Lin for portraying "two" women; I really bought into the idea that she was possessed.


Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

Tony Leung Chui Wai plays a book editor moving into a dead writer'shouse. Kind of like a modern version of "Chinese Ghost Story"


Reviewed by: kjohnson
Date: 12/09/1999

I liked the script and the mood and I think if they'd had more time and money with which to make the movie they were *trying* to make that this would have been a great movie. As it was things like the house filled with blue light bulbs, the obvious gas jets in the burning house, and the scene at the playground that jumps from daylight to bad day-for-night with no passage of time between the cut, kept destroying my suspension of disbelief.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

I thought it seemed really long and really really boring... I only finished watching it because I was giving Wu Chien Lien face.

[Reviewed by Brandon S. Ou]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A not entirely successful UFO thriller. While a strong sense of suspense is maintained in the house and around Wu Chien-Lien's gradual transmogrification the story tends to drag. Despite three good screenwriters, and the capable Jacob Cheung helming it, somehow things went astrayed during the filming of this ghost story by Peter Chan.

(6/10)



[Reviewed by Christopher Fu]


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

A young editor's (Tony Leung) infatuation with Sin Lau, a 1940's authoress, compels him to occupy her old house. His sleepy-eyed wife (Wu Chien Lian, who looks great) strings along in hopes of patching their marriage together -- but it seems she's being periodically possessed by the dead writer's spirit. Or is it a ploy to win over her husband? Or is she going crazy? A slow, creepy occult thriller filmed to make the night scenes almost glow.

(2.5/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6