The Pang brothers return with another horror movie Re-Cycle which closed Cannes Film Festival’s “Un Certain Regard” section. This visually impressive piece stars Angelica Lee who first worked with the Pang brothers in The Eye. She plays a popular author who falls into a eerily beautiful world when writing a supernatural thriller. The Pang brothers employ new CG technologies to create abandoned slums which resemble Hong Kong’s long-forgotten demolished walled city, imagined color-drained hills and forests, and a suffocating tunnel with embryos hanging from above. The first half of the film delivers plenty of suspense in the same style as other Pang brothers’ film. However, the second half of Re-Cycle, mostly an RPG-like adventure, innovatively weaves into the exquisite setting a sense of spookiness.
Angelica Lee is Ting-yin, a popular author who is stuck with her writing and keeps discarding her ideas. She starts to sense her apartment being haunted. When she steps out of her building, she arrives in a mysterious world where she comes across characters she has created and abandoned. An old man (Lau Siu Ming) tells her that she must go to “The Transit” to leave this place, and a little girl (Tsang Nga Kei) accompanies her to go through one desolate world to another in this inexplicable space… The film concludes with a surprising twist which one will appreciate if he or she follows the clever plot closely.
The sophisticated narrative structure, which at times mixes fiction and reality, makes the film more interesting than what is expected from a normal horror film. Thematically speaking, the attraction of Re-Cycle lies in the notion of abandonment. Ideas discarded and memories forgotten, no matter by an individual or a community, will return to haunt you.