Inner Senses (2002) Yee do hung gaan
Directed by Chi-Leung Law (Koma)
Starring Karena Lam, Leslie Cheung (Happy Together, Temptress Moon)
As soon as this film starts you get a sense of dj vu, a young woman Yan with a very creative imagination moves into a flat and is soon seeking help from a psychiatrist because she sees ghosts, very Sixth Sense. However her problems are sorted within the first fifty minutes as the psychologist forces her to face the demons from her past. This skilfully avoids ripping off either the aforementioned Sixth Sense or the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters and is well done.
As the treatment has finished for Yan, she and the psychiatrist Jim are able to pursue the attraction and affection that has grown between them, this leads to a light fluffy section of soft focus images (a little twee but thankfully short).
Dealing with Yans case has brought back repressed memories for Jim, he starts seeing disturbing images and takes to sleepwalking. Yan reports these night-time habits to another psychiatrist who happens to be Jims best friend but he only starts to believe her (knowing her history) when she captures Jim in the act on a video camera. From then on Jim's repressed memories open up like a can of worms and take over his life, he appears to be haunted by a figure from his past.
Whereas in the first section, Yans manifestations are ultimately proved to be psychological, the second section is far more vague and open to interpretation and this helps to create a more satisfying film overall. The final five minutes are a bit too gooey for me but I suppose the majority of the audience are happy with a sugary sweet ending.
The lead actors are very good although it is quite strange to see Leslie Cheung in this type of film. A suitably eerie atmosphere is built up when necessary and as usual with Asian horror films the sound is put to very good use. A clever story raises this above the average, as like both Sixth Sense and A Tale of Two Sisters, this is more than just a horror film.
Sadly this was Leslie Cheungs last film before his unfortunate suicide, it is even sadder when you watch Inner Senses and realise that a lot of the problems he discusses in his role were problems he was trying to deal with in real life.
Recommended to fans of the more cerebral thriller/horror, not quite the match for A Tale of Two Sisters but certainly worth a look.
BBFC rated 18
R2 dvd due for release sometime soon from Tartan Video.