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山村老屍 (1999)
The Wicked Ghost

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/08/2006

A group of friends become haunted by a ghost after performing a ritual to... summon ghosts! Not the smartest plan now, was it? Can Ming and Mr. Mo piece together the mystery and stop the ghost before it kills them all?

The film starts abruptly with little to no set-up or attempt to build drama. Within 15 minutes there's a ghost on the rampage, and the plot jumps about without much care for consistency or working the atmosphere. The film is genuinely quite scary in places, which is or was unusual for a Hong Kong horror movie - most of the scares come from the ghost aesthetic though, which is a cheap rip-off of Sadako in RING.

Francis Ng is good in his role, as you would expect and hope, and Gabriel Harrison is alright. The film doesn't have a lot else going for it though, and has been superceded by any number of far superior RING knock-offs.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 12/29/2002
Summary: NOT the ring

When I received this movie the only description I had of it was "The Chinese version of The Ring". With the Japanese version being am original enough story, and the recent US release being very scarry, I had my hopes up for something that would at least make my skin crawl once or twice. Unfortunately I was let down in the worst way upon watching this one. There are seriously NO scarry scenes in this film, leaving me wondering what Francis Ng and Gigi are doing in this picture.

The storyline is easy enough to follow as there are only 3 main characters then a handful of others with minimal screentime. A groupd of friends are playing a very strange game at the beginning of the movie when they all suddenly begin seeing ghosts. As they suddenly start dieing off, the survivors have to figure out what is driving them to death.

There are quite a few comparisons that can be made between this film and The Ring. There is even a countdown for one character: "3 days" until she is killed. It was a very dissappointing movie, and not comprable to the ring in quality.


Reviewed by: Apollyon
Date: 10/27/2001
Summary: What the F$@k!?!

This movie was weak. The first hour of the movie all you see was the ghost's arms. Then, you see this ghost with long hair that covers its face walking around in a blue robe. To say the least, it's not even scary. After watching the movie, I came to the conclusion that I've just wasted an hour and a half of my time. If you want to watch a horror movie by the same director, watch A Lamb In Despair. That is a much better horror filck.

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: Wicked Ghost, A (1999)

With the huge success of the Japanese horror movie 'The Ring', lots of local horror movies were produced by the Hong Kong film industry. Out of these productions, 'A Wicked Ghost', a new release, seems to be the most direct imitation of 'The Ring' yet. Starting from a poster that features a long-haired dead body with a white face and ping-pong ball like eyes, (nearly identical to the images presented on the poster for 'The Ring') audiences perceive 'A Wicked Ghost' as another 'The Ring' movie. How's the quality for Hong Kong style version of 'The Ring'?

'A Wicked Ghost' starts with four youngsters named Rubbish, Big-bee, Alice and Dee Dee playing the game of 'Contacting Ghosts'. Suddenly Ming (Garbiel Harrison), who is in the house while they are playing, sees a ghost in long hair. Subsequently, Rubbish is killed by the ghost. Magazine editors Jack (MOK Ka-yiu) and Ming's elder sister Cessy (Gigi LAI Chi) try to investigate the case. During their investigation, they find that both Big-bee and Alice have been killed. As the whole incident is very weird, they are afraid that Ming will also die. They seek help from their friend -- drama teaching Mr. MO (Francis NG Chun-yu). They attempt to sort out every possible clue. Finally they find out that the deaths invovle a ghost who has caused 66 deaths in a villiage 66 years ago......

Judging from the promotions, 'A Wicked Ghost' looks like the Hong Kong version of 'The Ring'. In fact, during the movie, you can find that lots of the sub-plots are trying to imitate the whole 'Ring' movie. First of all, the facial expressions on the dead bodies are the same as in 'The Ring'. Then you find that the ghost is a girl with long hair and a tail. For those who have seen 'The Ring' before, you will not be scared, but instead will be laughing in the theatre.

One of the selling points of 'A Wicked Ghost' is its horror atmosphere. A few of the shots can scare the audience, but most of the time audiences will be laughing. Probably the widespread duplication of 'The Ring' has made it hard to scare the audience.

For the plot itself, 'A Wicked Ghost' is very ambitious. There are lots of sub-plots in addition to the death notice of the young boys and girls. For example, there is also a love triangle between Mo, Cessy and Jack in addition to the tale about the village. As the tale of the village is the core of the ghost story, it is developed okay. However, the love triangle subplot lacks elaboration.

In terms of production, I regret to say that the production is sub-standard. Dubbed voices are one of the biggest problems of the movie. Sadly, the voices are dubbed not by the original actors nor actresses, and audiences find it hard to accept Francis NG Chung-yu, Gigi LAI Chi and MOK Ka-yiu not in their own voice. This weakens the horror atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography of the movie also has some problems in the middle of the film by having a light circle around the screen. This should have been spotted and removed during the post-production process.

The setting of the movie is also very weird. For example, you can see pictures of drawings in the toilets of offices. The source house for them playing contacting ghosts is in an urban area but you can still get tap water even when the water supply is stopped. These are questionable details.

For the performance of actors and actress, it's hard to evaluate due to the dubbed voices. Garbiel Marrison is one of the leading cast members in the movie but he cannot master the character very well. For some of the scary parts, he fails to communicate the feeling of fear. On the other hand, the performance of Francis NG is okay in the movie.

'A Wicked Ghost' is considered as a Hong Kong version of the movie 'The Ring'. In fact it is. Unfortunately, as it duplicates the movie too much, audiences are laughing instead of screaming. With the dubbed voices, you will be disappointed if you are looking for a more convincing horror movie.