He Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost
When I sat down to write a review for Jeffrey Lau’s Out of the Dark (1995), I realized that another film with the same name just came out starring Julia Stiles (It’s a Disaster, Dexter) and Scott Speedman (Underworld, The Strangers). I’m not too sure about that one (which is also available on Netflix), but the one I watched starring Stephen Chow (CJ7, God of Cookery) was the most fun I’ve had watching a movie since the beginning of October. Not too sure if that’s the goal of a horror movie marathon, but sometimes you need to lighten things up a little.
Leon claims to be a ghostbuster, though most of the people living in the high-rise apartment building where weird things have been happening don’t believe him. That is, until he captures the ghost of Mr. Li’s late mother and uncovers the conspiracy behind her death. Now Li and his wife are after Leon and the bumbling security guards who know their secret. When they both fall to their deaths and return to haunt the building, Leon must teach the security team how to bust them some ghosts.
Not so much a horror comedy but a comedy with ghosts in it, this is one goofy movie that plays every moment for laughs. A lot of blood gets splashed around but the violence and gore is kept to a minimum. If you’re at all familiar with Stephen Chow’s body of work, you know what to expect. Out of the Dark is by no means on the same level as Shaolin Soccer or Kung-Fu Hustle, but Hong Kong’s #1 comedian originally achieved his international status with movies like this. As if the movie itself wasn’t already absurd enough, I ended up watching it in a cafe on my iPad where all eyes turned to me each time I laughed out loud. The mild embarrassment was well worth it.
Might not be for everyone, but I’ve always enjoyed the tomfoolery of Chow and his co-stars. Light and fun. Recommended.
Availablity: Netflix US, Netflix Canada