Out of the Dark

Out of the Dark ★★★

Horror/comedy pastiche with Stephen Chow playing an escaped mental patient (named Leon, and he spends the whole film dressed similarly to Jean Reno in The Professional, with comedy mvp Karen Mok dressed vaguely like Natalie Portman) trying to exorcise ghosts in a large apartment complex.

Two of the ghosts he carelessly killed himself trying to exorcise the first ghost, which perhaps gives some indication of just how gleefully this film dispenses grievous bodily harm as a punchline. Nearly every supporting character here is despicable, and the film deals in a kind of off-handed cruelty that's a little startling even for Chow.

Jeff Lau directs with more shot for shot commitment than was probably necessary, managing to really sell the horror element in aesthetic terms at least and slipping in a handful of Wong Kar-Wai parodies, seemingly out of habit at this point. Definitely a disappointment between the peaks of A Chinese Odyssey and God of Cookery, though not without interest.

nrh liked this review