Since 1997 Steve Cheng has directed 10 films. The latest, Evil Fade, is a decent ghost story among many similar films in recent times. Director Cheng worked on Troublesome Night with Herman Yau. That film was very popular in Hong Kong and helped to fuel the recent horror film trend.
Evil Fade features Anthony Wong as HK police detective Ma Tung as he investigates a gruesome double murder. Wong brings his very clever talents to what is really a supporting role. Since he is the biggest star in the cast, Wong is featured in the film's promotion as a lead character, even though he doesn't appear until about 30 minutes into the story and then is only in a few scenes.
The movie is really about a Chinese "ouija board" which is basically a small saucer that sits in the middle of circular rings made up of word symbols. The 'game' invokes the evil "Saucer Spirit" who, of course, brings murder and mayhem upon the weak and troubled.
In a short time, Steve Cheng has been fortunate enough to work with some talented actors, including Anthony Wong [twice], Louis Koo, Chin Kar Lok, Simon Yam, and Alex Fong. He's worked with Athena Chu, Kristy Yang, and Pinky Cheung[who has appeared in 3 films]. This time out he has gotten compelling performances from his young and unknown cast. The young actress' do a nice job expressing teen female angst, a theme very popular around the world. Young actor, Chan Chin Pang, does well in his role of "the pretty boy with the dark secret".
Anthony Wong's Officer Ma is a forgetful, eccentric, bumbling cop who serves as comic relief to the murderous spirit. Simon Lui, the other 'star' in the cast, shows up in the last 10 minutes as a Catholic priest enlisted by Wong to battle the spirit with the Bible when reading sutras doesn't work. Lui hams it up, as usual, and steals the show.
Copyright 2000 John Crawford. All rights reserved.
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