Hungry Ghost Ritual 盂蘭神功

Actor/Director and multi film award winner Nick Cheung first directorial debut had chosen the horror genre and moved his entire crew to shoot the film in Malaysia. The story backbone features traditional Chinese believe in the Hungry Ghost Ritual and festival in the month of July of the Chinese Lunar Calender. Chinese Staged Opera are performed for the Ghost before showing it to the human audiences. There are multiple believes and rules that need to be followed to avoid any offensive acts that could annoy the Ghost and spirit such as: front row seats are reserved for "it" and must be left empty, the first show need to be performed for "them" to watch in order to re-divert their attending to look for targets for their new life in reincarnation. There are two main story lines intertwined while the plots developed, Cheung's debut direction hasn't failed us by presenting quite a slick story telling with a few horrifying scenes that may have you cover your eyes especially with the frightening mixing of sound effect. You may still find some similarity in <Hungry Ghost Ritual> from <The Eye>, <Paranormal Activity>, <In The Mood For Love> and the special effect treatments but Cheung had beautifully culled the best from various sources to make it his very own style, that was a plus. The cinematography and post production treatment has the 1960's epic execution and yet the time period is present. There was a closed up scene with a corpse being pushed in the lift and with the name "Lim Wai" tagging on his toe where we expect there will be a further plots to be explained later in the film as Cheung's father played by veteran actor Lam Wai (real name) in the film was hospitalized in an unknown situation. Perhaps the post editing have been restructured to another story development. All and all, it is still a good time out to enjoy such genre especially most Chinese are still believing in the ritual in their tradition during the Hungry Ghost month of July. Old tricks does work well, sometimes!

Rating : 3.5/5