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The Lingering

Opening Date
18 Oct 2018
PG13 Horror
87 mins
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Derrick Tao, Mak Ho-Pong
Athena Chu Yan, Louis Cheung Kai Chung, Yao Tong
On New Year's Eve, Qingyi (Athena Chu) and her son, Dawa, were waiting for her husband to come home from work but he never showed up. Meanwhile, Dawa keeps seeing a stranger who is invisible to Qingyi. Leaving Dawa under the care of her neighbour, she heads to the village to find out her husband’s whrereabouts. Qingyi returns home and sees a stranger hiding in her house…

Upon hearing about his mother’s death, Xinzhong (Louis Cheung) returns to his hometown. When he was handling issues regarding her death, a real estate agent appeared and asked Xinzhong to sell his mother’s mansion. Xinzhong must now find the property certificate to sell it. While finding it, strange things keep happening. Are these really just accidents, or was Qingyi warning her son?
By Jason Lin  18 Oct 2018
Each scare scene served its purpose with carefully crafted chills to cater to genre fans.
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Hauntings in houses had always been a popular horror genre premise that had produced a wide range of outcomes. Some stories would pin the horror on the house while others revolve around characters and plot themes like vengeance and forgiveness.
The Lingering by Derrick Hao and Mak Ho-Pong sets a mother and son to experience supernatural events in their rural mansion as they await the return of their husband/father for Chinese New Year. Qingyi (Athena Chu) and Dawa struggles to rationalise the spooky episodes but nevertheless find the courage to deal with them and move on in life.
This however brings about an issue where the film’s overall genre values might be muddled when the screenplay allows horror to be addressed by nonchalance. Fortunately, each scare scene served its purpose with carefully crafted chills to cater to genre fans.
Chu appeared to be more composed and apt for her role as the troubled mother to her adolescent son in the first half of the 87-minute film. While not deemed as a top-notch performance, Chu was able to command screen presence in the first half as she negotiated the unfortunate night where her husband suffered a tragic fate as unexplainable incidents take place in her residence.
While it might be a good move to focus on its characters in the second half, The Lingering eventually proved to be a production conceived by short-sighted filmmakers. Were the paranormal activities merely reflections of the characters’ subconsciousness or were they supposed to be guilt-based reprimands? The conclusion of the film further aggravated woes as it left many wondering if the film had any purpose at all and whether viewers had wasted their evening in attendance.
Along with lacklustre visual effects that couldn’t have fooled the adolescent viewers, The Lingering regrettably didn’t have much to offer despite applaudable efforts by Chu.
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