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|Inner Senses (Special Edition)
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 10 reviews)
Sales Rank: 39122
Actors: Leslie Cheung, Kar Yan Lam, Maggie Poon, Waise Lee, Valerie Chow, Norman Chu, Samuel Lam, So Pik Wong, Tin Leung, Li Wen Sun, Hong Dou Liu, Hang Shuen So, Sheu Tong Wong, Pui Yin Lai, Ting Fung Lee, Jova Yuen, Tony Wong, Stanley Wong, Chris Lee Pui Shing, Pui San Ho
Director: Chi-leung Law
Publisher: Tai Seng
Studio: Tai Seng
Manufacturer: Tai Seng
Label: Tai Seng
Format: Color, Dolby, Dts Surround Sound, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: Cantonese Chinese (Original Language), English (Unknown), English (Subtitled)
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Running Time: 100 minutes
Number Of Items: 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.2
Dimensions (in): 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.6
Release Date: October 21, 2003
Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 2001
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
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Customer Reviews: Read 5 more reviews...
Asian Horror with intelligence and sensitivity June 5, 2006
While there are some cliches apparent in this film, it's also amazing that some of the scenes in it have been used for newer releases like "The Shadow of The Wraith," for one. I am constantly finding that good films are always a minefield for our current horror directors. Of course, "Inner Senses" is also reknown for its real-life tragedy, the fact that Mr. Cheung committed suicide (almost re-enacting his own attempt to suicide in this film) is a constant reminder for his fans.
This is, in my opinion, one of the finest in Asian horror cinema that can be found. It is explores the inner workings of the mind and reveals a sensitivity that is rare in horror. Multi-layered and full of depth, this film has unfortunately been compared to "The Sixth Sense." While it does share some similarities, it's also quite easy to remember that most horror films share similarities, and the borrowing of ideas, in the past and now, has always been a hallmark of the creative person's life, whether one is a writer/poet, visual artist, or musician.
A slightly different ghost story July 24, 2005
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
This film is about a lot of things but if I had to pick one it would be two sides of the ghost debate: do they or do they not exist?
When we come into the story we meet Yan, a twenty-something, unmarried girl who has been tortured, almost daily, by the spirits of the afterlife that she sees everywhere she goes. She cannot escape them and has even gone so far as to cover every single glass surface of her apartment (windows, mirrors, TVs) so that she cannot see their reflection.
She is estranged from her family save for a female cousin that has promised to take care of her and makes her go to therapy to sort it all out. The cousin's husband, a psychiatrist who also believes in ghost, feels that his wife's cousin is too high-maintenance and so he won't treat her. Instead, he suggests she go to a friend of his, Jim, who is better equipped to handle her.
Then we meet Jim, the non-believing psychiatrist, who conducts lectures at the local college and explains away the ghost factor by stating it's all in one's mind. And that the only reason why people believe there are ghosts is that they have been conditioned to believe in them since childhood, in the form of twisted stories designed to scare little children into submission. What everyone doesn't know about Jim, though, is that he's not as perfect as he seems. He's got Insomnia and it plays a major role in his life.
The two meet and begin seeing each other three times a week for Yan's sessions. Jim tries to get Yan to open up and tell him what's really going on but Yan insists she's not sick and that ghosts are real.
As the story progresses, Yan and Jim's relationship deepens and they become romantically involved. While Jim continues to be an insomniac and sleepwalk, Yan is seemingly cured from her ability to see ghosts. For a time both are happy.
Toward the end, however, the roles are reversed where the patient becomes the caretaker and the doctor becomes the patient.
We finally come to the closure where we find out why Jim can't sleep, why he sleepwalks and why Yan had a very good reason to be afraid.
I liked the story because of the way one ghost was portrayed. Usually we see movies where the ghost is just out to cause irrevocable harm and the individuals who come across it are just at the wrong place at the wrong time (Poltergeist), or the ghost causes trouble in order to get someone's attention because they need help (The Changeling).
This story was different because it involves a persistent ghost that hasn't forgotten a promise made to them and is hellbent on making sure it's remembered. No matter what the cost is.
If you read up on ghost lore you'll often see references to ghosts showing up because they have unfinished business to attend to. That they can't rest until this unfinished business is satisfied. This movie is about that and a bit more, it's a love story gone horribly wrong, it's about blocking out unpleasant things and why it's probably better to just face your fear and it's about two people that have more in common than meets the eye.
There was one part in this movie that gave me the chills. That alone is cause for celebration, at least for me, because I've seen a lot of horror movies.
Most fail to do this so I like when one is able to because it makes me feel as if I didn't waste two hours of my life. This story isn't a waste but if you're looking for constant tension that doesn't let up, I'd recommend The Grudge or Ju-On.
A Poignant Psychodrama for Healing the Scars of Trauma May 12, 2005
5 out of 11 found this review helpful
Not enough has been forthcoming, unfortunately, in deference to our beloved Leslie Cheung, whose final film before his shocking and heart-numbing suicide resonates with the kind of haunting emotional static that confounds the mind, terrifies the soul, and renders helpless the heart's desire to rescue this good and beautiful, yet tormented person, too tortured by his OWN "inner senses," to give US prognosticative Leslie-loving ghosts (the actual HEALERS in the movie) sufficient insight by which to have read the warning signs of, and thereby take protective actions on behalf of, a twisted, roiling spirit in extremis.
Whether or not SOME PEOPLE understood what Leslie's real-life fate would be, having witnessed his "reel" fate in "Inner Senses," is a moot argument. The man who threw himself from atop a penthouse-style bar in a ritzy downtown Hong Kong Hotel that fateful day in April 2003, cannot REWIND the REAL. There is no PAUSE button. Everybody thought it was an "April Fool's Stunt," another bout of virtual unreality, over-the-top Leslie-style (no sick pun intended). Yet ... no joke: Leslie's gone. There is no REWIND. No STOP! The millions of Leslie worshippers worldwide CANNOT edit or redact "cinema verite" in the post-production dailies room, when the verity trump-cards "the reel world." Leslie's death was real. Why didn't we see it coming? And why could we not rescue him, from himself, or to the "inner senses" ostensibly beyond his control, or the control of his doctors and well-intentioned "caregivers," to harness constructively and organically transmogrify Leslie's "overwhelming demons" into "outer-others-centered, constructively happifying senses." Why couldn't we help Leslie recover from his not unsurprising depression? Why could we not turn the compost of his seeming dreadful future into eternal living roses?
Notwithstanding Leslie, as cinema qua cinema, "Inner Senses" is just okay. It's not as brilliant in its plotline as "The Sixth Sense," to which its been compared voluminously, yet by no means would I assign any sense of plagiaristic causation, either intentional or otherwise, to this initially small but now prodigiously huge gift from Hong Kong to the wide world of horror fans (and the rest of us) who feast or engender our curiosity upon the macabre and the gothic, no matter how faded, jaded or jejune.
Which is, in the end, probably the reason that we did NOT observe, let alone understand, the red alarm bells ringing everywhere throughout Cheung's "cinematic suicide letter" to us - exit, stage loft. And thus, Leslie Cheung became the "Richard Cory" at the dawn of the 21st century. "He fluttered pulses when he said, 'Good morning,' and [she] glittered when [she] walked." We were far too enamored with Leslie Cheung "The Demigod" and "Goddess," to perceive the androgyne so-fastidiously concealed, so sufferingly sheltered, within the velvet mask.
"Inner Senses" earns its 5 stars alone because Leslie Cheung is in it, and what's even more germane, its his swan song to us, his adoring "fandemic." That fandemic has only burgeoned with the loss of our favorite Cantonese son, secret idol, phantasy lover, and immortal beloved.
So what could we have done to save a precious life, not an icon, but a real life. It is rare but unbearably compelling, that we incorporate film into art therapy, the groundbreaking therapeutic neoscience, not so necessarily groundbreaking or "neo," given the fact its been in our arsenal of healing medicinal oeuvre for over 5,000 years. Only recently, however, has ANY SIGNIFICANT scientific credence at all been vouchsafed to Oriental intra-inter-integrative therapies. You could say, especially in the high-profile case of Cheung, "it's all been a terrible Occident."
Many would point out that my thoughts and ideas here are fuzzy-speculative at best, refried dog turd at worst. But what CAN we learn from film? Are we mere passive intakers of 24 frames per second confabulatory unreality? Or do we SEE the men and women behind the facades of fable, the story behind the story tellers? Do we even care?
Well, I think it is fair to say we cared a LOT when Leslie left us, just as we did when John Belushi, Chris Farley, and so many other shining lights burnt out before our startled eyes, like the klieg lights in a shutting-down theater. Even the divorce of Nicole Kidman to Tom Cruise following the grueling creation of "Eyes Wide Shut" (which effectively killed director Stanley Kubrick's "marriage" (his life, fueled by filmic art) as well), serves as a clue to the reality that we as star-gazers have at least some responsibility, in preserving our "guiding-stars in Wide-screen Technicolor Heaven" from burning out irreplaceably.
But stars are stars. How do we reach them; even traveling at the speed of cinematic light, which most of us are quite inept at doing? We expect our movie stars, like our baseball idols, basketball heroes, wrestling juggernauts and even, yes - many living religious compassion gardeners (the tender-hearted little monk Thich Nhat Hanh comes to mind), to be beyond our ken, the reach which exceeds our grasp. Yet what's a Heaven for?
All of us are human. The good, the bad, we CANNOT dualize reality and confound the indomitable paradox of the unity of the web of all life.
Had Cheung been able to read the new book just out, "Yi Shu: The Art of Living With Change - Integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine, Psychodrama, and The Creative Arts," authored by internationally-acclaimed Professor, Psychologist, Social Worker, Artist and Art Therapist Gong Shu of Saint Louis, Missouri (published by F.E. Robbins & Sons Press), and had he been able to be under the care of Dr. Gong, whose compassion I find boundless and who saved my own, unfamous, unglamorous but nonetheless REAL life in 1995 from certain self-slaughter, for any length of time - then perhaps we would be enjoying Leslie's latest celluloid dessert tomorrow, or perhaps Leslie would decide to abandon theatre altogether, in favor of a more relaxed, less phantasy-imbrued, less hyper-virtual "sur-REELity" lifeline. We just don't know, or can ever know. Leslie left us, not with a swan song after all, but with a tragic and forever-inexplicable, swan dive. We failed him, not as cineastes, but as compassionate contemplators and activists ourselves, in the all-too-real and inarguably cruel, world each one of us knows as "the living stage."
Not that great, but worth checking out if you like horror December 12, 2004
1 out of 3 found this review helpful
Here is an interesting concept...an Asian remake of an American Hollywood horror film. "Inner Senses" is a remake, or, as they call it, an "homage" to "The Sixth Sense." With all the negative attention surrounding Hollywood remaking Asian horror, I'm surprised this has slipped under the radar. It's not a terrible film, but it certainly isn't as good as "The Sixth Sense." So where's the outrage?
The little kid who runs around whispering, "I see dead people!" is replaced by a twenty-something single woman, who also sees dead people and is in therapy for it. I could read into this and say something about how significant it is that they equated a child with an unmarried woman, and back up my gripe with the fact that as soon as she gets a boyfriend, she inexplicably stops seeing dead people. But instead I'll just be really passive-aggressive and off-handedly mention how I could have talked about that if I wanted to.
Leslie Cheung plays a psychologist who believes that people see ghosts only because they are engrained in society's collective consciousness. If society stopped believing in, and talking about ghosts, no one would see them again. One day he gets a phone call from his colleague who wants to arrange for him to meet with his wife's cousin, who sees ghosts, which greatly interferes with her life. They set up an appointment for him to see her as a patient. His friend says on the phone, "I have a real beauty for you to meet," and after the first meeting, it is revealed that the friend and his wife arranged this appointment to set the duo up on a date.
Now I know setting people up can be awkward, because nobody really looks forward to a blind date. But since when is this the right way to hook two people up? Never mind the RIGHT way, since when is this even a WAY to hook two people up at all? I know the conventional way would have been boring for the audience, and they were obviously going for the doctor/patient relationship present (in a completely different way) in "The Sixth Sense." But since doctors are technically not supposed to get involved with their patients, wouldn't it have made more sense for them to fall for each other and want to start a relationship and have their friends be against it, instead of the other way around?
Despite its ridiculously stupid and implausible nature, the plan works, and the doctor and the patient are soon in a montage sequence that is supposed to indicate that they are "falling in love." Oh, you know, stuff like...she's eating an ice cream cone and gets it all over her face, and he thinks it's cute...if only they had that BJ Thomas song, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," or some such hideous early 60s pop song playing in the background, it would complete the mood. (disclaimer: I'm fully aware that "Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head" isn't actually a love song, but somehow it fits. Even Neil Diamond doesn't have anything cornball enough to fit with this scene.)
Once the patient and doctor are thoroughly into each other, she moves in, and is cured of ever seeing dead people. But strange things begin to happen to the doctor....
As you can imagine, the surprise ending is not what it is in the Sixth Sense. I must admit, I didn't see it coming, although sadly, it's not that interesting. Most annoyingly, they don't explain why the female character magically stops being haunted by ghosts. (I have to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's not because they think all women are crazy unless they get a boyfriend.)
The most depressing and creepy thing about the film is actually a morbid coincidence--the scene in which Leslie Chueng's character is being tormented by the ghost into jumping off a tall building. In the cast bio on the DVD, it is revealed that this is the way in which he committed suicide shortly after completing this film.
"Inner Senses" gets three stars, because it does have it's moments. The woman's landlord had a family that died several years ago. His character, who still talks about them as if they will come home one day, and the atmosphere in the house make for some great scenes. The images of the spirits are all well done, and have some fun creepy moments. This is certainly no "Juon," but if you're a fan of this type of thing, it's worth a look.
Ok, If you like horror, you might as well watch it June 18, 2004
0 out of 3 found this review helpful
OK movie but like so many Asia movies (Suicide Club,The Eye), the stories are great but they end up going nowhere, they give you extra characters and facts that have nothing to do with the end result and sometimes even contradict the story. I must admit, I did jump a couple of times but foreign films also don't capture the moment by increasing the volume of the special effects for that added chill.
Disclaimer: I'm using the same review for The Eye.