ReviewWriter: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Eye” and “The Detective”
Sometimes you get to how is it possible for such an interesting premise to have an execution as lackluster as "Sleepwalker 3D".
"Sleepwalker 3D" tells the tale of Yee (Lee Sinje), a troubled young woman with a traumatic past. By day she works as a seamstress and occasionally, she models for her best friend, Eric, (Li Zong Han) while by night, she experiences a recurring dream where she stands alone in a wasteland, with the nagging feeling that there is a corpse buried nearby. Meanwhile, Sergeant Au (Huo Si Yan) is desperately pursuing a kidnapping case, with possible homicide, which her nephew is involved in. The two of them crosses paths when Sergeant Au catches Yee sleepwalking, which soon makes her a possible suspect when her ex-husband goes missing. During the interrogation, Yee gives all the details and confesses she might have killed her husband in her sleep. The question soon becomes, is there anything to Yee's dreams and sleepwalking habits, or is her past finally driving her mad?
There is nothing noteworthy about the characters, other than the fact that Chinese people have the tendency to overreact. It is obvious that Oxide Pang has crafted this movie especially for Angelica Lee Sinje, who seem to be a favorite of his and his brother, Danny Pang, after being casted in a few of their films, notably "The Eye" and "Re-cycle". Lee is definitely a consummate performer, playing out her role as the troubled young woman with as much conviction as she could amid the unraveling narrative. This is probably the main reason why the other characters seem so dull, as no effort is made to develop their characters, other than to milk the drama and shock value cows dry.
That being said, the narrative of "Sleepwalker 3D" is pretty disturbing as the movie feels like it is trying to cater to the maximum number of audiences by trying on one too many genres at once. Subplots are introduced, but they are resolved carelessly, such as the case of the missing ex-husband. Further, there is also the question why this is shot in 3D, as there is nothing for the viewers to be awed by, save for a chase scene towards the end, where splinters go flying. Conversely, the cinematography is handled well, with varying changes of lighting to differentiate between Yee's sleepwalking scenes and reality, and cross-cuts to direct audiences' views, such as a shot of a boy's jacket, then the shot of the boy in the missing poster, so audiences' will never be at a loss, albeit a bit cliche. If you think this sounds offensive, you probably understand my reasons for the low plot rating now.
The best element of "Sleepwalker 3D" has got to be the soundtrack. Some people may have gripes about the soundtrack being too cliche, but I really think that kudos has got to be given to Pang for employing a consistent use of sound throughout the movie, as opposed to inserting loud bangs after long silences to maximize shock value. There are actually piano pieces for sad scenes, thumping beats for chase scenes and so on. I mean, come on, they could just have easily skimped on the soundtrack considering they skimped out on everything else.
In conclusion, "Sleepwalker 3D" is not a bad film by any means. It is reminiscent of a music video, where bits and segments are sewn together in an attempt to form a coherent story around the melody, and the superior soundtrack only serves to reinforce this verdict. Oxide Pang clearly needs to return to his horror roots.Cinema Online, 02 November 2011