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Brian T. Jaynes
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I have never heard of The Arrival of Wang. The first I heard of it was on Film4 during the Frightfest season which they were having. Being quite the horror buff, I decided to give it a look on our very own IMDb only to find one review and zero description! It was clear to me that no one had seen it. However, seeing something without knowing nothing about it was an idea that sounded very appealing to me so I watched it without knowing nothing about it and what I got was a well done, low-budget and low-key thriller that offered something a little bit unique, but which is quite flawed.
I won't go too much into the plot because knowing nothing about it is something that I found quite intriguing. You put yourself right in the main character's shoes, so you feel as confused and alienated as she does. She's a translator who gets a mysterious call to go and do some translating. That's really all you need to know about it. What unfolds is some compelling dialogue and bad CGI. If I told you that most of the film plays out in one room, then you'd be understandably turned off. However, you shouldn't be. I was never bored in The Arrival of Wang thanks to the unique premise and well-handled screenplay. As long as you keep open minded, you're sure to find something to enjoy. It's also quite thought-provoking.
It's not all about talking though. There is also some well-executed scenes of thrills and tension which I shan't spoil for you. It's just a shame that this aspect wasn't used more because it added some much needed spice to the film. I felt like the whole thing ended too quickly and more could've been done. However, it's better to be too short than too long, right? There are also some seriously bad effects that are worth a mention. I know it's a low budget film, but they really shouldn't have included ambitious set-pieces if they knew that they couldn't pull them off. They could've at least tried to execute them with a bit of imagination and with as little CGI as possible.
However, The Arrival of Wang is a film worth seeing. I've seen much worse mainstream films and at least it's never boring. It offers something different and it always had me interested. The final line of dialogue also hit me quite hard. It's a great ending which leaves you with something to ponder about. Some of the plot can be quite predictable, however I found it difficult to pin point how the film was going to end and it didn't disappoint. In short, if you get the chance to see The Arrival of Wang please do. You also get a special feeling of belonging to a very small cult of people who have actually seen it. I imagine only six people have seen it so far, so you could be the seventh!
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