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七月又十四之信不信由你 (1999)
Believe It or Not

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 09/06/2006
Summary: Not very good

I picked this up at a Chinese grocery store on VHS because it was cheap and because Francis Ng is in it. As I was watching it, I was thinking I was seeing one of Ng's early works and was discounting accordingly; I was really shocked to find out later that this came out after Young & Dangerous and The Mission.

It's a ghost movie with elements of comedy, but what Ng does for laughs was embarrasing, not funny. The plot involves a group of friends/acquaintenances who battle the ghost of a guy who was murdered by one of them. It doesn't make a lot of sense; the scarey scenes aren't scarey, the funny scenes aren't funny, and one of my favorite actors makes a fool of himself. And if that weren't enough, the sight of Sam Lee dork-walking is going to stay with me for awhile, and that's a bad thing. Not worth the $2 I paid for it.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: Believe It or Not (1999)

With the coming of this years 'Ghost Festival' (the fourtheen day of July in Lunar (Chinese) Calender), lots of horror movies are released in these two weeks to 'celebarate' the festival. Wellson CHIN Sing-wai, who has directed several ghost stories, has made 'Believe It or Not' is CHIN's direction for this year.

'Believe It or Not' happened in the July of Lunar Calander, when the door between the hell and the World opens, lots of ghosts will come out. A teenager suddenly died in his apartment. Officer Kenny (Francis NG Chun-yue) investigated the case. At the same time, low intelligence guy Joe (Sam LEE Chan-sum), Lon and Fatty experience strange things on the date of 'Ghost Festival'. Then a ghost sticked onto the body of Mandy. Lon, who is the grandson of Gradda Lung, feels something unfortune......

The Chinese title of 'Believe It or Not' is quite close to CHIN's another direction 'Thou Shalt Not Swear' (1993), with the same meaning of July 14th. The main difference is that this time most of the performers are more fresh like Sam LEE Chan-sum, MOON Ka-wai and CHAN Wai-yin. They may want to give audience a fresh feeling for horror movies.

Can they fulfill such function? I'm afraid not. The main problem is that the plot failed to get in pace with the style. They would like to make the movie with teenagers but they pick up the plot the same as what we have seen for this genre. This won't help them in getting the appreciation from the audience. Instead, audience are a bit disappointed by the old-fashinoed flowing and they even expect the old cast more. If they prefer to make it younger, they should have a story more appropriate. Something like the strange things happened in gangs and triad is still interesting and it suits more with the identities of the main casts.

To a certain extent, 'Believe It or Not' looks like a movie with elements of horror, romance and laughters. The love issues between the kids can be one of the good part and I expect they can put more descriptions on it. This helps in developing tensions for the latter part of the movie. In addition, such setup should also be used for the love of Francis. Now the love is too thin to impress audience.

As a horror movie, climate setting is one of the main method to use. In 'Believe It or Not', their first several minutes has set up a good climate for you to feel a bit fear. However, they cannot maintain the whole climate for the whole movie. I think maybe they should such horrors in a more dense way so that audience can be concentrated.

Sam LEE Chan-sum and Francis NG Chun-yue has given what they are expected. I expect there are more plot for Francis. For Sam, though he has done what he is expected but his peroformance in 'Believe It or Not' is a bit far from his another horror 'Bio-Zombie' (1998). For Francis, I start getting tired for him acting abnormal cops as he has been in such type of roles in several movies in the past 12 months like '9413' and two weeks ago opening 'Bullets Over Summer'. Francis should think about his career.

'Believe It or Not' is expected to be a younger version of horror but it hasn't fulfill its expected function due to the typical plot. Sam LEE and Francis NG has done their job but their roles seems a bit repeat. As a horror movie, I expect more from Wellson CHIN Sing-wai.