It’s day six of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month October and write a short review for each one.
Hong Kong Horror movie RIGOR MORTIS made a splash in the festivals a few years ago. At the centre of the film, is a down-on-his-luck actor, who moves into a crummy apartment block with the aim to end his life. Saved by one of the eccentric residents, he realises that the building is haunted, but not only that… one neighbour is determine to resurrect an ancient evil and there’s little can be done to stop it.
The whole generation in Hong Kong was raised on the MR Vampire Kung-FU horror series, and RIGOR MORTIS is a tribute to those films, featuring actors and references from the originals. It is a nostalgic and emotional piece, that unites the old style of Hong Kong movie making and the modern J-Horror tendencies (the director for the RING series Takashi Shimizu produced the film), but it never struggles with its identity. The over the top violence and Kung-Fu battles manage to generate just enough suspense to suppress the silliness, and the quirky characters are easy to care for.
Using the first hour to create the atmosphere and establish the drame, RIGOR MORTIS is a rewarding and unexpected movie experience, which proves that old fashioned Hong Kong cinema, just like that old and forgotten vampire, was never really dead.
Score out of 5:
SCARE SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃