Home sweet home alone

A mysterious house guest, a strange family, and an unresolved tragedy combine in this Chinese thriller
*

DirectorLeste Chen
StarringAaron Kwok, Tiffany Hsu, Duan Yihong, Zifeng Zhang
Alternative Names秘密访客

Lately, in-between Monkey King movies, Aaron Kwok has been starring in some great dramas và thrillers, like Project Gutenberg, Cold War 2 và I’m Livin It.

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We’re still in-between Monkey King movies, with Part 4 due out shortly, so while we wait we get another Aaron Kwok thriller, something really different to his previous works.

What’s this movie about?

A mysterious man, living in the basement of a wealthy family, is slowly being pressured into turning himself in for a crime he’s having trouble remembering.

We follow the man, và the family, and witness a series of strange events that start to lớn question everyone’s sanity.

My Thoughts on this Movie

This movie is another great example of a trailer completely overselling the movie it’s promoting. I sat in the cinema expecting a deep murder mystery film where the whole family will double cross each other in an attempt to remain free of prosecution, but what I got was a thriller that tried lớn be something it really wasn’t.

If you’re a mystery thriller genre lover, the first hour is some quality cinema. Moody scenes with muted colours, giving off a very cold & cautious vibe. A cast of character who speak in riddles, leaving little breadcrumbs of clues for the audience lớn piece together.

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It’s just, when it comes the reveal at the end, we don’t seem lớn have enough breadcrumbs lớn create a whole slice of bread.

A movie like this is deliberately cautious in its approach lớn storytelling. Give too much away too quickly, và the audience will figure out what’s on và switch off, but don’t tell the audience enough và you kết thúc up doing what this film did, & that is spending the last 30 minutes playing catch-up lớn ensure the audience understood what was happening.

Some people might like that approach, but I found it frustrating.

The main problem with this approach is that the actual plot device of the story isn’t really that interesting khổng lồ hold the whole film. There needed lớn be something else to lớn make the audience aware who the real antagonist was. What we end up with is perhaps not what the filmmaker intended, where Stockholm Syndrome seemed to kick in with the characters và you’re left feeling that you’ve probably wasted 90 minutes investing in a film that circled back on itself.

What can’t be faulted is Aaron Kwok as the father, Duan Yihong as the mysterious man & Zifeng Zhang as the daughter. I love her, she’s awesome & I enjoy most films she is in, however I am not usually a fan hâm mộ of Tiffany Hsu, but her performance as the mother did win me over. Additionally, the sets, of particular the beautiful house they live in, & the very complex và layered music left a lasting impression with me on exit from the cinema. The brother/sister duet at the start on the piano being of particular note.

Overall

Such a shame, when a great cast, sets & music can combine together with a rather average story and not elevate it beyond a movie I’d only recommend if there was nothing else available. The real shame here is that first 60 minutes is so intriguing, I’d love it if the director announced he was going to lớn recut the ending to lớn give it a bit more punch.