Bob Balaban's dark comic horror about a young boy suspecting his suburban parents to be cannibals
A telesales agent intent on buying her perfect apartment resorts to extreme violence in order to secure the deal
They say that moving house is one of the most stressful events that we encounter in life. What they don't say is that if the current owners of your perfect apartment back out of the deal they've struck with you, why not try murdering the inhabitants of the neighbouring flats to scare the owners into dropping the price? Rather more stressful than making an offer on a house and packing up a few cardboard boxes, I'm sure.
Such is the plot of Ho-Cheung Pang's real estate horror film starring Josie Ho as Cheng Li-Sheung, a woman whose priorities are more than just slightly askew. Obsessed with a particular Hong Kong apartment that she is denied, Cheng systematically brutalizes the surrounding residents in astonishingly gory and inventive ways. One particularly gruesome murder, involving a heavily pregnant woman being tied up and suffocated whilst simultaneously miscarrying her unborn child, may prove a step too far for some cinemagoers.
Juxtaposed with the excessive bloodshed the film displays, we spend an equal amount of time following Cheng's plight on the Hong Kong property ladder and exploring the childhood where the roots of her obsession began. The overlong flashbacks feel like a chore, whilst the sadistic horror provides very little light relief. This, coupled with some clumsy subtitling and a patently transparent message do not make for a particularly easy ride.
Too much real estate drama to keep gore fans interested and too much gore to keep real estate enthusiasts hooked. A messy, bloated horror film with bonus ham-fisted social commentary.
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