HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  49 Days You Can't Go Home Again
Year: 2006
Director: Lam Kin-Lung
Stars: Stephen Fung, Gillian Chung, Raymond Wong, Jess Zhang Qian, Kau Lap-Yi, Steven Cheung, Wong Yat-Fei, Lo Meng, Xue Bin, Debbie Goh, Miao Liang, Wang De-Yu, Cui Li-Ming, Liu Deng-Chi, May Xue, Wang Hong, Xu Min, Shi Xiao-Ju, Yuan Min, Ho Ching, Wu Ren-Yuan
Genre: Horror, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lau Shing (Stephen Fung) leaves behind his wife Man-Wei (Jess Zhang Qian) and little daughter Ling-Gi (Kau Lap-Yi) in their hometown, to start a prosperous herbal medicine business in turn-of-the-century Hong Kong. Four years on, Lau’s lovely business partner Susie (Debbie Goh) begs him to stay, but he is set on returning home. Following their late night dinner, Susie catches Lau’s trusted right-hand man Pang Shi (Raymond Wong) setting fire to their shop to repay his triad debts. The fire kills all of Lau’s friends and he winds up framed for arson. Kindly prison guard Fong Lik (Steven Cheung) cajoles his cousin, feisty young lawyer Lam Siu-Chin (Gillian Chung, one half of Cantopop duo “Twins”) into taking his case.

Her efforts are hampered by Pang and the triads pressuring witnesses not to testify, while still-missing Susie periodically pops up as a scarlet spectre. On the final day of Lau’s trial, an accident puts Siu-Chin in a coma and her client is sentenced to death. But the Lam family are experts in all things supernatural. Aided by an enigmatic executioner (Lo Meng, onetime member of The Five Deadly Venoms), Siu-Chin springs Lau out of jail. They have only forty-nine days to clear Lau’s name and protect his family from the predatory Pang, who is after the deed to their property.

Rhinoceros horn, a crucial bit of kit for Chinese herbalists, has a major plot function in this engaging supernatural thriller. Supposedly used to massage pressure points or scrape toxins, here it’s mixed into a magic candle that helps reveal a crucial plot twist. It’s a twist horror fans will have seen many times before, but unusually occurs midway into the story and is quite well done, precipitating a series of heartbreaking turns in Lau’s seemingly ill-fated life.

49 Days draws heavily upon traditional Chinese beliefs and like many Hong Kong horror movies, hinges on a clash between old and new. Modern girl Siu-Chin is a constant calamity to her superstitious father (Wong Yat-Fei), having inadvertently offended local spirits by peeing on sacred ground, and initially takes on Lau’s case only to prove her law credentials are the result of her own hard work, not Mr. Lam’s Taoist prayers. The mystery unfolds by how characters interpret seemingly ambiguous events, filtered through their growing knowledge of the supernatural, much the same as Lau re-interprets the Chinese ideograms on a letter from his family to his clueless friend.

Some sources credit veteran producer/actor Tsui Siu Ming as co-director on this film which, if true, speaks to his love of weaving traditional superstitions into offbeat storylines, most notably in his geomancy-themed action-adventure Bury Me High (1991). In his first genre outing, Lam Kin-Lung’s occasionally hectic direction leaves a few episodes hard to follow on first viewing, but he draws a compelling performance from Raymond Wong as the odious killer and weaves an affecting story. This is the kind of horror film distributors market as a “supernatural thriller”, since it gently chills rather than strikes hearts with terror. That said, an eerie sequence with an urn-dwelling ghost and an attack by a flock of demonic ravens are suitably striking, while the nightmarish blaze that turns Lau’s life upside down is a brilliantly staged set-piece.

Comic antics from the Lam family provide a welcome counterpoint to the increasingly tragic story, although winningly it is their expertise in ghostly goings on that helps solve the mystery. Excellent performances from Stephen Fung and Gillian Chung, almost unrecognisable as the feuding teenage siblings in House of Fury (2005), especially during their rooftop scene wherein shy Lam confesses her love, but only in English so Lau won’t understand. After a fantastically tense final showdown, the conclusion strikes the right melancholy balance between heartbreak and hope.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5771 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: