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A computer engineer is kidnapped and tortured. Since then, his girlfriend senses he's no longer the same person, and becomes convinced that something supernatural is corrupting his soul. The cop assigned to the case is also determined to get to the bottom of the case. The truth is more frightening than either had anticipated... Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I find it inconceivable that Ringo Lam failed to make it in Hollywood. He's just as powerful a director as John Woo, and in some ways, moreso. His worldview is a depressing and downbeat one and the pressure on him to provide his sole Hollywood film to date, Jean-Claude Van Damme's _Maximum Risk_ with a happy ending, may have deprived American audiences of a great talent.
The proof of this statement lies in the films which Lam has made since returning to Hong Kong: _Full Alert_, _The Suspect_, and this, _Victim_. Starring the intense Lau Ching Wan, an actor who may one day give Chow Yun-Fat a run for his money, this is an offbeat mixture of horror and crime film. That the combination works so well is testament to Lam's direction and screenplay. Wan's character is a former employee of the national mint, whose lost his job and is kidnapped one day by a group of criminals who leave him, hanging by his heels, in a deserted hotel, haunted by the ghosts of the former owners, victims of a murder-suicide. Wan uses this background as a sort of cover as he seemingly becomes possessed and acts strangely. His girlfriend and the cop on the case don't know what to make of his actions--sudden, irrational outbursts, digging in the garden late at night, leading the police on high-speed car chases. When the answer comes, it's as much a surprise to us as to the other characters and the final 30-45 minutes of the film are unrelentingly grim and downbeat, with a nihilistic finale, similar to that of _Full Alert_.
Lam is still a director to be reckoned with and he's still adding gems to a resume that already contains such classics as _City on Fire_ and _Full Contact_. Perhaps he'll get his second chance at a Hollywood career--lord knows, he deserves it!
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