Reviewed by: ryan
Summary: Haunted Resort (1999)
This Tuesday was the beginning of this year's 'Ghost Festival'. As a kind of 'celebration' to the Festival, lots of film companies have released horror movies. B&S have the most on show, and after last week's 'The Social Worker from the Edge', they put up another ghost movie this week -- 'Haunted Resort'.
'Haunted Resort' takes place entirely on Cheung Chau, one of the small islands in Hong Kong. In Cheung Chau, there is a tale of haunted resort, which is the topic for the movie. Young Ghost Bebe (CHEUNG Wai-shan) was murdered at an early age by her mother. She has stayed in Cheung Chau for almost 16 years but most people there can't see her -- unless they are unlucky enough.
One day, a CID officer called Tart (CHEUNG Hung-on) visits Cheung Chau. He's there not on vacation but for a more nefarious purpous -- to find Bing (Paul CARR) to buy guns as a replacement for the one he's lost. As Tart is sufficiently unlucky, he can see Bebe and they end up looking for Bing as a team. But they don't do a very good job of it, they search for ages then get the wrong person and use up all their money. Finally, they have to borrow from a loan shark called Victory, but Victory gives them fake notes. Tart is getting deeper and deeper into trouble...
After you watch 'Haunted Resort', you'll realise that it's a love story rather than a ghost story. The plot basically does its job; but while I understand that B&S DV productions are on a very small budget, I think it would do them a lot of good to beef up their storylines.
In this movie, the story has two levels. The first is the love between Bebe and Tart while the second level is the world after death. The choice between staying or leaving is also a central theme, almost everyone in the movie is confronted with the issue at some point.
The love story between between Bebe and Tart would work better with a few more scenes about how Bebe cheers Tart up and how she wants to date him. But everyhing we get is fitted into the hunt for the guns. This lack of variety takes the interest out of the romance.
In 'Haunted Resort', the dead wear bar codes on their necks as a means of identification. This movie is not a movie about the conventional 'ghost world', so this approach is acceptable though it looks a bit weird. It would be more interesting if Bebe were to initiate Tart into the system, and the afterlife in general. This would give the audience something more to chew on.
In terms of performance, new actors CHEUNG Hung-on and CHING Wai-shan play their roles acceptably. Compartively, CHING performs better. She looks active and optimistic. CHEUNG, on the other hand, is a bit young to to portray the troubles of an unlucky cop. CHAN Pui-yue is okay but she could be less annoying.
'Haunted Resort' has a complete story, if a little thin. It could use some more substance, like the love between Bebe and Tart as well as the workings of the ghost world. But all in all the movie has given new performers CHEUNG Hung-on and CHING Wai-shan a good opportunity to start their show business careers.