HKIFF: Fruit Chan's "The Midnight After" Is A Riot

The Midnight After

Fruit Chan’s The Midnight After is the second opening film in the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Starring the ubiquitous Simon Yam, Johnny To vet Lam Suet, and Janice Man, it’s a comedy, horror, and sci-fi mix similar to Seth Rogen’s This is the End.

Despite some local humor and political commentary, there’s plenty -- especially with a running time of over two hours -- to entertain not only horror and sci-fi fans, but also those outside of the two genres because of its broad comedy.

Like Rogen’s hit film, Chan’s The Midnight After puts a group of people in an end-of-world scenario that involves zombies. The city -- in this case, Hong Kong -- plays an important role. And it’s all light and fun.

One difference with Chan’s film is that it features a more diverse group of characters. There are three central female characters and three age groups. Because it’s a Hong Kong film, The Midnight After is also more melodramatic.

The leads, which also includes Wong You-Nam, Kara Hui, and Chui Tien-You, are generally solid. Wong, despite an all-out effort, couldn’t quite pull off an emotional scene that resulted in some unintentional laughter from the audience though. Lam is especially good -- everytime he opens his mouth, I chuckle.

In terms of the genre break up, The Midnight After is a comedy first, horror second, and sci-fi last.

It runs a bit long because of several flashbacks.

By the time The Midnight After reaches its open-ended finale, I laughed enough to want to see another installment, which the director hopes will happen if does well when it opens in Hong Kong next month.

(Click here for Popcorn's take.)

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