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Case Number 15416: Small Claims Court

Buy Visits: Hungry Ghosts Anthology at Amazon

Visits: Hungry Ghosts Anthology

Facets Multimedia // 2004 // 110 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 12th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson was visited by a ghost last night. At first it was scary, but it turns out they shared the same interests.

The Charge

Sometimes they don't leave.

The Case

Who doesn't love Asian ghost stories full of cheapo jump scares? If you answered "Me!" thanks for the interaction with this review. It's appreciated. For readers down with this overseas-centric genre of horror, here's a "hungry ghost anthology" (their words), four tales directed by four Malaysian directors:

• "1413"
Two young girls develop a strong friendship, driving one of the girl's boyfriend bonkers with jealousy. Blah blah blah, someone dies and someone ends up with serious mental problems. What really happened? And are the glimpses of the deceased for real or a product of a misfiring brain?

A few decent jump scares are about as terrifying as this segment gets, though said scenes only involve a girl in a red dress. But when she shows up unannounced in the darkened hallways of an asylum with poor acoustics, there's some shock potential. The twist ending is a winner.

PANTS-WETTING METER: 3 (a hint of dampness but otherwise dry and suitable for public appearance!)

• "Waiting for Them"
Two roommates that I'm pretty sure are romantically entangled find their life crashed by a third: a long-time pal of the woman, who's just turned up looking for help. There's something screwy going on, especially when the friend notices a pair of real clammy legs standing in a closet. Someone is most certainly a ghost—but who is it?

Yeah, there's not much suspense going on here as you'll have this endgame pegged from the start. Worse, this sucker is boring, tediously paced and lacking even the slightest scare. Those ghost legs? That's the extent of the spookiness.

PANTS-WETTING METER: 1 (bone dry!)

• "Nodding Scoop"
By the way I have no idea what any of these episode titles mean. Anywho, three friends come up with the brilliant idea to perform a ghost-summoning ritual and tape what happens, hoping to manufacture the next smash hit viral DVD. Scenario ends in a predictable catastrophic manner.

Some potential here, but it was ultimately flushed. What could have been an eerie "Don't mess with bringing back the dead" object lesson instead devolves into an erratic tale of two girls getting into a catfight and one of them getting possessed and slapping the other. Plus the video-camera POV is puzzlingly abandoned.

PANTS-WETTING METER: 1 (I'm ready to face the day, confident and wetness-free!)

• "Anybody Home"
A building maintenance man develops an unhealthy obsession with one of the female tenants. So unhealthy that he installs cameras everywhere—her bathroom, her kitchen, the parking garage, in her furniture—so he can keep eyes on her 24/7. I don't even want to tell you what he does with her underwear. But she's got a secret of her own.

And I'm not entirely what it is thanks to a convoluted ending. But points for the unique set-up. Very, very few shock moments, though that underwear scene is disturbing enough to warrant a bump in the meter.

PANTS-WETTING METER: 1 (on to more frightening things I suppose, like my 401k statement)

The DVD is no-frills: a mediocre full frame transfer, 2.0 stereo (Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles) and a making-of featurette.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 65

Perp Profile

Studio: Facets Multimedia
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Cantonese)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Mandarin)
• English
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Foreign
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette


• IMDb

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