Herman Yau has received legendary status
from directing infamous 1990's category III horror nasties as The Untold
Story and Ebola
Syndrome, both with Anthony Wong in the main roles giving us delightfully
Yaus has since then made many more "normal" but still pretty
satisfying genre offerings, and in this one he's re-united with Wong
in an uneven film that, in my eyes, don't succeed with the Cat. III
shocks coming at the end.
Why? Well, the major part of the film plays out like a serious horror-drama
and it's quite atmospherical and interesting as that, but ....
suddenly it trashes out at the end with a splatter gore fest, penis
chopping and cannibalism. Maybe Yau didn't know how to end this?
OK, i do like the old Cat. III 1990's nasties but then, as with the
above mentioned Yau classics, it was trash horror mixed with comedy
and it worked fine. The mix in The Sleep Curse did not work for me.
It felt like Herman Yau made one of his "normal" later years
films and suddenly realized that ... Hey, i have Anthony Wong hired
and was supposed to make neo-category III nastie, whoops, almost
forgot, i better throw in the splatter and gore and turn up the trash
Story: The middle-age professor Lam Sik Ka (Wong) works
at the university, teaching and studying the phenomena of atypical insomnia
and how to make humans less in need of sleep, as we sleep away one third
of our lives.
A woman, Monica or Yau Mong Hei (Jojo Goh) turns up and asks for Lam's
help solving her family's problem sleep. Her brother hasn't
slept for 3 months and her father has died from something that could
be a curse, maybe from Gong Tau, black magic.
But Lam himself has sleep problems and a female apparition (Michelle
Wai) has constantly followed him through his life, and Lam wonders
what happened to his family, to his father during WW2.
The film takes place in 1993 with a long flashback to occupied Hong
Kong in WW2 when professor Lam was just a kid.
The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen and with
a cantonese DTS 5.1 or a DD 5.1 audio with english subtitles (and a
dub DD 5.1). Region 3. Extras: Trailers, TV spot, teaser, making of
featurettes with english subtitles and a Q & A, picture slideshow