Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yes, I Can See Dead People Review

Last night some friends and I decided to venture the Seattle International Film Festival, otherwise known as SIFF. I picked a movie that would be fun and quirky. While it won't make any international waves, Yes, I Can See Dead People is a surprisingly agreeable entry into the teen horror genre, featuring lots of scary little kids. This Hong Kong dark comedy/horror flick starts off introducing its main character, Wah Koon-Nam, who is a slacker and spends most of his time delivering food, playing his PSP, and bumming around the public housing estate where he and his family reside. Oh, one other thing: Nam sees ghosts. No exclamation point, no registration of alarm; just the matter-of-fact acknowledgement that he can see the undead.

Nam's ghost-seeing abilities come into play when his brother Tung gets seemingly possessed after a night out on the town. He starts acting weird and somber and occasionally wets his pants. Nam immediately suspects something is up, but he has other issues on his mind, namely the hot stewardess Mei Chee, who lives next door. Soon enough she starts to take an interest in Nam before she too begins acting strange. Nam thinks that the ghosts are harmless, but security guard Fok assures Nam that this isn't the case. The ghost is a former resident of the housing estate and may have a grudge or two to settle. With Fok's counsel, Nam learns that with his great ghost-seeing power comes some form of great ghost-seeing responsibility. But can he get it together in time to help his brother, his crush, plus a group of deceased kids?...

Yes, I Can See Dead People won’t win any great cinematic awards, but for what it is - would-be cheesy teen horror - it's surprisingly effective. There were elements of comedy that had everyone laughing and delivered lots of decent tension and surprise. I found myself jumping quite a bit with in-your-face scare tactics. All the characters were very likable and the music, even though off-beat, was nicely placed which added to the film even more. It’s pretty obvious this film didn’t have a big budget, but the director, Lee Kwong-Ui, delivered nicely with his limitations. I will say that the movie lacked in its ending. I felt the flash backs came in too late for you to remember their purpose and the movie had about 4 too many would-be endings – it just kept going and going when it should have ended already. It made the film feel like it was 2 in ½ hours long when it was only 90 minutes. It just didn’t congeal well enough in the end making it a little too confusing not to mention a tad bit boring. But over all I enjoyed this film and like I said it was fun for what it was. Most of the time it kept you on your toes.

RATING: C-




Would you see this film?...

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