Originally from Hong Kong, the Pang Brothers Oxide and Danny Pang were at the forefront of the new wave of Asian horror when they created The Eye, a neo-classic that has spawned both remakes and sequels. I guess they were looking to rekindle some of that magic by casting the star of The Eye, Angelica Lee in Re-Cycle (original title Gwai-Wik). But this outing is nothing like The Eye, and quite frankly was a huge disappointment.
Somewhat successful writer Tsui Ting-Yin (Lee) is writing a sequel to a well received book series. Under the pressure of having to write the novel she also has to deal with an old lover of hers that has returned after 8 years and a failed marriage. While writing the novel strange ghostly events start happening around her apartment, and we are led to believe that either the events are mimicking the horror elements she has just written for her novel or the other way around where she experience them and then writes them down.
But come the second act, and Tsui finds herself in a world from another dimension where castoffs and rejects of our world end up. There she meets an old man and young girl and led by the girl Tsui tries to find her way back home.
Although the visuals of the reject world are stunning and imaginative, the contrast to the opening act, with the more traditional ghost clichés is jarring. The rest of the movie is a fantasyland quest that, at first, doesn’t quite gel to what we were expecting. But the biggest disappointment for me was that once challenged to understand what Tsui was really seeing, it became all too obvious and I could practically write the rest of the movie myself. You may figure it out yourself as you see Tsui and the little girl navigate the chamber of living embryos.
I don’t mind a movie with a message but it has to have more than just a veneer story for delivery. Sadly, this movie goes into the recycle bin.