Tales from the Occult

EUROPEAN PREMIERE

Tales from the Occult
失衡凶間 (Sat hahng hung gaan)

Hong Kong, 2022, 111’, Cantonese
Directed by: Fruit Chan (Dead Mall), Fung Chih-chiang (The Tenement), Wesley Hoi (The Chink)
Screenplay: Fruit Chan, Stanley Wong, Ling Wai-chung, Ho Siu-hong (Dead Mall), Fung Chih-chiang, Wesley Hoi (The Tenement), Wesley Hoi (The Chink)
Photography (color): Benny Chan (Dead Mall), Ming Wong (The Tenement), Kwan Pun-leung, Sunny Wong (The Chink)
Editing: Tin Sup-fat (Fruit Chan) (Dead Mall), To To (The Tenement), Mathew Tang (The Chink)
Art Direction: Delon Siu (Dead Mall), Chet Chan (The Tenement), Pater Wong (The Chink)
Music: Henry Lai
Producers: John Chong, Mathew Tang
Cast: Dead Mall: Jerry Lamb (Wilson Yeung), Cecilia So (“Wonder Quest” host); The Tenement: Richie Ren (Frank Ho), Sofiee Ng (Ginny Lee), Peter Chan (Lucky), Paul Che (Uncle Lang), Baby Bo (Sorceress); The Chink: Cherry Ngan (Yoyi Koo), Ng Wing-sze (Alice), Kelvin Kwan (Alan), Lawrence Cheng (Uncle Ronald)

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA


Hong Kong horror hounds have had slim pickings in recent years, but the new Tales from the Occult omnibus series is pushing creepy local fare on the cinema menu again. The first instalment brings together three directors – one a veteran filmmaker, one a rising talent and the other making his directing debut – for a trio of shorts that mix urban menace, dark satire and grisly twists.
In Wesley Hoi’s The Chink, pop singer Yoyi Koo (Cherry Ngan) moves into a renovated apartment and experiences a series of frights. Years earlier, she’d found the body of a thief in a back alley and hadn’t reported it, and now the corpse is back on her mind. Not only does she feel like she’s being watched, but there are nightmares and shocking visions too. Making matters worse is mysterious text messaging that starts up after she moves into the flat, an ill-fated relationship with her manager (Kelvin Kwan), and chats with her psychiatrist uncle (Lawrence Cheng) that aren’t all that helpful.
The next of the tales is Dead Mall, from director Fruit Chan. Investment influencer Wilson Yeung (Jerry Lamb) introduces his legion of followers to opportunities in a dodgy shopping centre, then gets mixed up in ghastly happenings after business hours end. The mall is rumoured to be haunted, but Yeung just tells his viewers it’s no big deal: “No opportunity without crisis, no rebirth without death,” as he puts it. Meanwhile, the host of the Occult Society’s “Wonder Quest” show is also poking around, camera in hand, and soon there are three livestreams on the go as things get out of hand and blood begins to flow.
Closing the picture, Fung Chih-chiang’s The Tenement turns to a less-crazed but no less atmospheric saga. The setting’s an old walk-up apartment block, where writer Ginny (Sofiee Ng) sees a spooky figure in the stairwell. She dashes back into her flat and a meeting of residents is convened. Fearing that they’re facing a powerful water ghost, and also afraid their property prices would drop if they report the case, they band together to dispose of the unwelcome visitor. 
Tales from the Occult marks the start of three omnibus features, bringing together directing veterans and first-timers to deliver eerie entertainment. The mood alternates enjoyably through the first set of shorts, with Wesley Hoi and Fung Chih-chiang both turning in polished horror-themed stories largely confined to old residential buildings and Fruit Chan in the middle turning again to clever satire, here skewering property-market practices, investment gurus and the public’s infatuation with influencers. A quality cast of distinctive players appear in the shorts, from established leads (Richie Jen, Cherry Ngan) to rising stars (Ng Wing-sze, Peter Chan), and the stories fly by at a brisk pace. Though curiously light on the paranormal, the series’ introduction is a promising start for those seeking more horror at the cinema. Next up: Tales from the Occult 2, with offerings from Frank Hui (Trivisa co-director), Doris Wong (New Turn) and Daniel Chan (Sifu vs Vampire).


Fruit Chan

After entering the film industry in the early 1980s as an assistant director, Fruit Chan directed his first feature in Finale in Blood (1993). He later drew acclaim with films including Made in Hong Kong (1997), Durian, Durian (2000) and Hollywood Hong Kong (2001). 
 
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY

1993 – Finale in Blood (1993) 
1997 – Made in Hong Kong (1997)
2001 – Hollywood Hong Kong (2001)
2021 – Coffin Homes (2021)
2022 – Tales from the Occult (co-director)

Fung Chih-chiang
  
Fung Chih-chiang started out in film as an assistant director and joined broadcaster TVB as a scriptwriter in the mid-1990s. Fung later became a screenwriter for film with Shaolin Soccer (2001), and debuted as director with The Bounty (2012).

FILMOGRAPHY

2012 – The Bounty 
2013 – The Midas Touch 
2018 – Concerto of the Bully 
2019 – A Witness Out of the Blue 
2022 – Tales from the Occult (co-director)

Wesley Hoi

Wesley Hoi studied multimedia production at Nottingham Trent University, and has worked in film and TV for the past 20 years. Based in Macau, he provides advertising and film production services and is active as a scriptwriter.

FILMOGRAPHY

2022 – Tales from the Occult (co-director)
Tim Youngs
Film director: Fruit CHAN, FUNG Chih-chiang, Wesley HOI
Year: 2022
Running time: 111'
Country: Hong Kong
29/04 - 9:00 AM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
29-04-2022 9:00 29-04-2022 10:51Europe/Rome Tales from the Occult Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org

Photogallery