Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Steven Cheung, Charlene Choi, Lawrence Chou, Gillian Chung, Alex Fong
Director: Pou-Soi Cheang
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Tai Seng Entertainment Release Date: 07/20/2004 Run time: 90 minutes
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Offbeat horror comedy
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 12/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Families don't get much more dysfunctional than the vast clan of half-siblings in "Death Curse" (original title: "Goo chak sam fong fong"). Pou-Soi Cheang throws in some genuine scares and laughs over the course of this movie, and a slightly out-of-sync finale that is pure hilarity right up to the end.
Petulant, bratty Nancy (Charlene Choi) is petulant and bratty, and even soaks money from Keith (Lawrence Chou), knowing he's besotted with her. Then she receives a letter from her long-lost father, who is inviting his eight kids (by six wives!) to stay with him. When Nancy arrives, she finds that daddy has already died of a heart attack.
To inherit, each must offer incense at midnight for seven weeks, and hug each other. But then the eldest brother starts hallucinating and collapses, and Deon and Ben (Steven Cheung) vanish while fetching a doctor. Everyone has a motive, but when Nancy and timid sister Linda (Gillian Chung) wander down under the enormous tower, they find a motive for much more than money.
"Death Curse" is billed as horror, and it has some unspeakably creepy moments -- pasty hands rising out of a pond, ghostly staring children without mouths. But it's actually closer to the American classic "House on Haunted Hill," where it's not clear what is supernatural and what is an evil plot.
Cheang does a good job balancing out comedy and horror throughout the plot, with ghostly voices and gore interspersed with family arguments and soap opera twists (Nancy finds that her ex-boyfriend is actually her brother). He also tossed in some fairly funny dialogue ("I am not Big Boob, I'm your sister!").
The climax -- in which we find out where all those creepy visions are coming from -- is totally out of sync with the rest of the movie, but it's very funny as well. Poor Keith is at the mercy of Nancy's drugged brothers, as Nancy and Linda race around with their hands tied, trying to defeat the bad guy. The cinematography makes it look even crazier.
Much is made of the Chinese pop duos, but you wouldn't know it -- Choi and Chung are particularly good as the bratty urban gal and the fragile, slightly unbalanced girl, while Cheung and Kenny Kwan do fairly good jobs as the milder brothers. The scene-stealer is Ho-Yin Wong, who is absolutely hysterical as the wannabe-gangster brother Nick.
"Death Curse" suffers from a disjointed final act, but it makes up for it with plenty of comedy, chilling horror, and a slightly sick sense of humor. Worth checking out."