RIGOR MORTIS (2013)
aka Geung Si
Directed by Juno Mak
Chinese language with English subtitles
Chin Siu-ho, a movie star, falls on hard times and moves into an apartment building. Unable to face life anymore, he attempts to take his own life but is saved by Yao, the chef of the building who’s also a part-time vampire hunter – if only there were any vampires to hunt, that is! Siu-ho learns from Yao that his apartment is haunted by demonic twins who died in the room and are keen to take revenge on anyone and everyone. Meanwhile, Auntie Mui, an elderly seamstress, seems to be keeping secrets of her own as residents of the building notice that her husband Uncle Tung hasn’t been seen lately… As increasingly strange things occur in the building, Yao’s skills will be put to the test when he discovers that black magic practitioner Gau has unleashed something more wicked than he’d ever imagined.
Ghostly horror Rigor Mortis, also known as Geung Si, combines ancient evils, modern Asian horror, martial arts action scenes and dramatic moments to make one surreal thriller. The setting of the movie, the apartment building, appears to house all the evil you could ever imagine and it truly is a wonder why all the residents are still living there. Creepy deceased twins haunt room 2442, seeking to possess anyone they can lay their spiritual hands on whilst Gau is hiding children, most likely not of this Earth, in his apartment room and is quite happy to lend his services to further his own gain. Action movie star Chin Siu-ho gets caught up in this madness and is about to contribute to it himself when he is interrupted by the kinder souls in the building. Could Chin Siu-ho be needed for a higher purpose or is it just dumb luck that he’s saved?
Rigor Mortis is quite a visual spectacular, from the gritty set design of the canteen area to the CGI liquid vapor infused creations of the spirit twins. It’s quite a treat to watch with its attention to detail and way of finding beauty and character in the simplest of things. The film itself is well paced too so you never feel bored whilst you’re watching it. Far from it. The supernatural storyline and it’s surreal visuals are quite captivating, especially as you try to work out what is exactly going on in this disturbing place of residence.
Unlike some Asian horrors, Rigor Mortis has a coherent plot thread that is easy to grasp. It does, however, retain that enigmatic vibe that so many of the movies have but the characters and the storylines are much simpler to understand and get involved with.
Rigor Mortis isn’t afraid of shedding blood and there’s a fair few bloodthirsty scenes within the movie as well as some hard to watch moments throughout. One particular scene isn’t shown but implied and your mind does the rest whilst the aftermath reinforces the grisly visions in your mind.