Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAUNTED CHANGI - Amateur Schlock

HAUNTED CHANGI (mockumentary thriller)
Cast: Andrew Lau, Sheena Chung, Farid Azlam and Audi Khalis
Director: Andrew Lau
Time: 80 mins
Rating: * 1/2 (out of 4)

Andrew Lau, Sheena Chung and Farid Azlam

PREAMBLE: Trying to reprise the success of sleeper hits like Blair Witch Project, REC and Paranormal Activity, a group of young Singaporeans set up this 'mockumentary' on the so-called Old Changi Hospital or OCH. The OCH is believed to be haunted - and lots of ghost stories abound in the former building used by the Japanese as headquarters and torture chamber.

Well, it also helps that there is a network of underground tunnels, dilapidated conditions, junk and graffiti all over the abandoned building. At least these static views provide some interest in this otherwise utterly boring and amateurish enterprise that is neither scary nor thrilling.

THE SKINNY: In January 2010, a group of youngsters team up to film a documentary about the haunted Old Changi Hospital in Singapore. The skeleton crew comprises Andrew Lau as director, Sheena Chung as producer, Farid Azlam as the soundman and Audi Khalis as cameraman.

And of course, the SOB (standard operating bullshit) kicks in: As they start filming inside the building at night, strange things start to happen and... you should know the drill by now.

HITS AND MISSES: I really don't know how to categorise this piece of work because it shifts from one thing to another as it goes on. It starts off as a documentary with info and stills about the Japanese occupation of OCH and even with interviews with the locals who have had experiences at the old hospital.

Then we get into the 'rojak' mode as the crew points the camera in every direction of the OCH and shoots anything and everything, even the broken toilet bowls. The Singlish-speaking characters are more irritating than interesting because none of them relate well with the audience. And there is nothing remotely scary or funny until we get to the final moments of the film. It is so predictable!

The best thing about this so-called 'Changi Project' is that the film-makers promoted it on Facebook and got a whole lot of people, especially Singaporeans, interested. From curious FB fans, it did well when it opened in Singapore in September. I am not so sure if it will claim as many victims this side of the Causeway.

THE LOWDOWN: Ignore it and maybe it will go away soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home