The Hungry Ghost Festival is upon us, and what better way is there to keep you on your toes than a scary ghost story?
The latest Chinese horror flick to make its presence felt is Hong Kong flick Knock Knock! Who’s There?.
The horror thriller is also known as Yau Hak Dou in Cantonese, meaning ‘a guest has arrived’. It is a term that is used in Hong Kong funeral parlours to announce the arrival of guests paying their final respects at the funeral of their dearly departed.
This is an omnibus ghost film that will send chills down your spine with three separate stories of three women whose fates change overnight after some spooky encounters at the funeral parlour.
Kicking off the movie is Missing, about Isabella (Annie Liu) whose head was never found after she got killed in a car accident. However the tragedy turns out to be a blessing as she is reunited with her childhood sweetheart Roy (Babyjohn Choi), who turns out to be her funeral director.
Next is Karma, about an autistic traditional paper oblation craftswoman Yung (Kate Tsui) who spends her time designing paper effigies at an traditional Chinese joss paper shop owned by her gambling addict aunt (Carrie Ng) and uncle (Simon Lui). Something sinister happens to Yung after her aunt and uncle nail her feline friend in a coffin for a money-making ritual.
The closing tale is Smell, which revolves around the eerie experiences of Yan (Jennifer Tse), who befriends a strange girl after finding her mobile phone and bumps into a bespectacled butcher (Eric Kwok) with a penchant for chatting up schoolgirls.
Last week, Hong Kong actress-director Carrie Ng and TVB actress Kate Tsui made their way to Kuala Lumpur to promote Knock Knock! Who’s There?.
Both ladies admitted to being scaredy cats, but Tsui revealed that she was most frightened by rats.
“Although I felt scared while reading the script, filming it was not scary at all,” shared Tsui, 36, whose scariest scene was when she was required to dissect a rat for her dead feline friend.
“For me, that is the No.1 scariest thing ever,” declared Tsui, who reportedly burst into tears and even threw up upon seeing the dead rats, but eventually managed to pull herself together to complete the scene.
“Those were actually frozen rats that people buy to feed their pet snakes,” explained Ng, who recently made her directorial debut with the revenge-thriller Angel Whispers (2015), which she co-directed, produced and scripted with film executive Shirley Yung.
Ng had been observing Tsui for many years and noticed that the pretty lass usually gets cast as strong-willed female characters, so she gave Tsui a role which allowed her to show her vulnerable side for a change.
“It’s what thespians hope for: a role that is different, that challenges them, and pushes them beyond their limits,” continued Ng, a veteran actress who is best known for her award-winning turn in Remains of a Woman which won her the Best Actress kudos at the 1993 Golden Horse Film Festival Awards, and The Kid which won her the Best Supporting Actress at the 2000 Hong Kong Film Awards.
In Knock Knock! Who’s There?, Tsui had to dance like a cat, so Ng shared how she and Tsui conceptualized a dance sequence to portray the transformation that was happening
“I was wondering how to get Kate to portray a feline quality. Then I thought of the Cats musical – I really liked how the actors danced like cats in it. I knew that Kate dances beautifully so I decided to arrange for her character to physically embody the feline transformation in her by mimicking the movements of a cat in a dance sequence,” shared Ng, 51.
“I was only told about it while putting on makeup for the scene so I had only a few hours to learn. Since, I was not familiar with cats, I had to quickly search for some videos to watch and look for a corner to do some stretching exercises and practise some moves,” said Tsui, who was named best new performer at the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards for her role as a rookie cop in crime thriller flick Eye In The Sky (2007).
Ng is so confident that her film will be well-received that she is already started planning the sequel. “The female lead for the sequel makes her appearance in part one of this movie,” she concluded.
Knock Knock Who’s There? is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.