Saturday, October 02, 2010

Honourable Mentions: Set Up

Set Up was a 2005 film by Billy Chung and has a thoroughly vampiric opening before settling into a thriller. The title of the movie has a twofold meaning as it refers to aspects of the film but also for the way in which the film was written. Such as utterly inappropriate wedding gifts that are given to lead character Moon (Christy Chung) are clearly going to be used in the film later.

Indeed we have a clear moment of Chekhov’s gun as she is given the rape alarm set, the spear gun (for use on the honeymoon!) and a set of hammer and stakes. In fact only the hammer and stakes seem appropriate after we have seen the opening.

the graveyard
The opening starts off with the sun setting and the camera panning across a graveyard. We are with Moon Siu – the predestined exorcist and she is racing through the graveyard, which itself is photographed with some lovely green filter work intercut with meaningful imagery such as a bowl filled with bubbling blood.

We see her running and we see the coffin of the one she is after – Trikoulitte the Princess of Darkness. We see the vampire's coffin opening and Moon suggests that she must kill Trikoulitte by midnight. She gets into the vault and then suddenly – a mobile phone goes off.

The stake in her hand turns into a phone and she answers it. It is her mother but she is working and has no time for soup. Suddenly it is a stake again but the vampire has vanished from her coffin. She stands before Moon and suggests the vampire hunter looks behind her but Moon won’t be fooled. She plunges the stake into her adversary’s heart.

Suddenly she hears something behind her. She turns and is faced by a horde of zombies and screams… Moon is a writer of horror novels and the sequence we have watched is her writing process; the scream when she scared herself. She is about to be married to Tak (Michael Tse). Her sister (Winnie Leung, the Twins Effect) and the girls bring her wedding presents and then take her for laser eye surgery and are going to have her recuperate in Moon and Tak’s new home – as it is unlucky to see the bride before the wedding – despite Tak’s protests. Unfortunately the surgery goes wrong and leaves her temporarily blind and the house is subjected to a home invasion by a gang of armed robbers…

So, into the thriller normal and, as it was just the writing process for her latest book, the vampire section is left behind. The thriller aspect is actually fairly transparent (and I guess that was kind of the point) but the coda is magnificent. At the time of writing there is no IMDb page.

No comments: