Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jack Neo's Where Got Ghost? / 吓到笑

The last horror comedy we had on our shores was Kelvin Tong's Men in White which unfortunately didn't draw in the crowds. He might have success with his The Maid which helped to establish Tong as a bona-fide commercial filmmaker, but the horror-comedy genre had eluded him.

Now Jack Neo is embarking on the same genre, the Hor-medy as exclaimed in the trailer, and given his track record in comedy, read: at least the masses turn up in droves almost each time he releases a movie, and probably THE most successfully commercial director in our contemporary cinema, it's almost a no-brainer in predicting just how this would turn out in terms of box office receipts.

"Where Got Ghost?" is made up of 3 short stories of about 90 minutes each, one of which centers on reservist soldiers. I thought Neo had shrewdly casted Ah-Beng favourite Ah Nan in a role that looked pretty much having leapt out of Pulau Hantu, having his character involved in many a local wisecrack about the army. Neo being an officer himself, would undoubtedly have a wealth of material to tap from, not to mention from every corner of NS life that you always get to hear about from friends.

And from the trailer, it also seemed that Neo could go back to parodying his other films, or hijacking his own lines to further milk some laughter from the audience, such as the perennial "Have You Eaten Yet?" which found its way here. Glimpses of the trailer also revealed Jack Neo being back in front of the camera and reassembling his cast from Money No Enough 2 probably as the 3 siblings and their wives, and Lao-Beng Richard Low likely to have reprised his character (or at least the characterization) from The Best Bet.

It's not rare that Jack Neo had quite quickly made another film for release in the same year, the earlier offering being the relatively less successful (amongst his filmography) Love Matters during the Lunar New Year period, so I guess to make up for that lacklustre perfrmance, he's targeting the equally lucrative National Day cum Lunar 7th Month Hungry Ghost period to make up for the shortfall.

Here's the synopsis on each of the shorts:

"Where Got Ghost?" (“吓到笑") is a Horror-Comedy Chinese Movie. 3-in-1 Horror tales told in a good old comedy fashion.

Roadside Got Ghost
Swindlers Cai, Fu and Shou have a new scam - using a hotline to make random calls to people, promising them fortune. Those who win the lottery are required to pay commission to Cai or be scared into submission.
One day, Cai receives a phone call. The caller gives Cai deploying the same hotline trick. Believing it is a copycat of his scam, Cai naturally disregards the call, but goes ahead and tries his luck with the given number anyway. To his surprise, he wins. Mysterious happenings assume...

Forest Got Ghost
Nan and Lei return for army reservists' training. They learn that the place they will be send is the widely known 'haunted hill', so they take the shortcut. Suddenly, the 'haunted hill' seems to come alive - tombstones, red dress spirit and other strange sightings. Then it rains. Nan and Lei seek refuge at Yin Yin's house, a girl they just met. Little do they know their road to hell has been cut short...

House Got Ghost
It is the Lunar 7th Month, weird sightings happen at home, children can only think it is the late mother's doings. The truth slowly surface as they begin their road trip only this time it seems to be more than what they bargain for...

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