Halloween Marathon: Sleepwalker (2011)

Moving right along with the review, last night wasn’t quite as productive as I wanted it to be but I did manage to get one movie done and its the one I was looking forward to. With Oxide Pang at the helm and Angelica Lee as the main actress, I was pretty excited to check out Sleepwalker.  My all time favorite horror is The Eye (the original one) and very much in to the top ones are Re-cycle (which is more of a fantasy horror).  I’ve never written a full review of either but I remember those movies like I watched it yesterday.  Fully engraved in my mind.  Of course, he has a few flicks that I’m not too excited about either and some I still look forward to watch but a few weeks ago, Sleepwalker landed in my recommended list on Netflix and I added it right away and made a note to watch it before the month is through.  After all, whats a little horror marathon without touching some Hong Kong films, right? I mean, I always pop one  in every little while and its been a while I haven’t watched one.

Lets check this out!

sleepwalkerDirector: Oxide Pang Chun

Cast: Angelica Lee, Siyan Huo, Charlie Yeung, Hee Ching Paw, Kent Cheng

Yi (Angelica Lee) wakes up from the same dream every night and it feels extremely real and eerie.  Not long after, she is suspected to be related to the disappearance of her ex-husband.  Its then she realizes that she may be sleepwalking after various events link together.  It makes her wonder if she has been killing in her sleep.

Seriously, nowhere has a good description of this movie.  Not Netflix, not IMDB…its really hard to sum up this movie because there are two stories going on at the same time.  Its essentially a kidnapping case where a mom (played by Charlie Yeung) is looking for her boy thats been kidnapped for 3 months and the kidnapper never returned even after ransom was paid.  On the other hand, you have Yi, played by Angelica Lee who is learning that she sleepwalks and as she starts suspecting that she’s doing something questionable during her sleepwalking experience, she is being suspected of murder also.

sleepwalker

Sleepwalker was a bit of a disappointment. I understand that its hard for a director to be equally efficient in many movies.  Except I can’t really put it on the same scale when its the Pang brothers versus just Oxide Pang himself. There is a lot to like in this one though.  There are some slow parts and some weird moments and a whole lot of building up the mood and atmosphere but the story behind it is a good one.  They even add a pretty nice twist to it.  I didn’t figure it out so extra points for that. From the start, it has this creepy feeling to the whole thing.  The main scares are trying to use abrupt sounds and movements and increasingly loud background music to create it.  Maybe that works for you, maybe it doesn’t.  I guess that depends on the person.  For me, it worked alright.  Except at the end, I started feeling like the story wasn’t much of a thriller and turned into a mystery drama.  But, I like the ending because it kind of takes the audience in a full circle and gets back to that nagging way that it started and wondering why that beginning was there. If you’ve seen this I don’t mean the ending ending but like the way the mystery unfolds.

sleepwalker

Angelica Lee is amazing in these thriller/horror/fantasy/drama.  That sort of thing really works for her.  I think that some actors are great with a certain type of director and she is fantastic with Oxide Pang.  Any faults in this movie doesn’t relate to her role in being Yi.  I liked the girl who played the cop.  For a newer actress (to me), she did pretty well, even if at times, I felt she was a little too rigid.  I always wish that Charlie Yeung (actress above) had more on screen time because she was once a really good actress and she can still do it more mature roles now.  The one person I didn’t like and might cause me to not watch this again was one of the guys.  I’ve never seen him before and he played  the friend of Angelica Lee and he did really bad in what he had.  I felt his character wasn’t hiding what he was supposed to hide too much and it turned out that it completely helped me guess part of the twist.

sleepwalker

I’m going to keep this short because I really don’t have much to say.  Oxide Pang and his Pang brothers directing effort in Re-cycle and The Eye is amazing. Sleepwalker has a good premise and creates a creepy atmosphere successfully. As always, Angelica Lee is great as the main lead.  There are other factors that make this not so effective as a thriller and it had the potential to be better and thats why I’m a bit disappointed.  I still think its worth a watch 🙂

Halloween special going up by midnight! I’m not even sure what I’m doing for it yet but I’ll figure it out by then 🙂

Happy Halloween! 🙂