Ghost On Air

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Published in


I have been yearning to watch a good horror movie for quite some time now. Horror as in ghosts and the paranormal, that is.

Yesterday afternoon, I got the chance and I went for it alone. Yes, all alone. Even better, when I finally seated myself in the dark cinema hall, I counted. There were only six other people in the hall. Perfect!

The movie in question is Ghost On Air, a made-in-Singapore ghost movie, starring famous Singaporean radio deejay of 93.3FM, Dennis Zhou Chongqing, produced by Merelion Pictures and directed by Cheng Ding An.

Briefly, Ghost On Air is about Ping Xiao, a two time "Most Popular DJ" award winner (played by Dennis Zhou) who is suddenly removed from his primetime morning show following bad press. Threatened by a younger uprising deejay named Pauline (played by Eunice Olsen) taking over his position, Ping Xiao forces himself to conquer the painful memories of his recently deceased girlfriend and novelist, Jia Li (played by Malaysian radio deejay Gan Mei Yan) by telling ghost stories written by her on air during the midnight slot.

As he slowly regains his popularity, Ping Xiao begins to realize that the stories were not works of fiction, and decides to investigate by tracing back the path taken by his girlfriend. Soon, he becomes haunted by the very stories that he is telling on air, which leads to a terrifying conclusion.

Watch this trailer below

How did I find the movie? Well, despite all the bad reviews and write-ups in the media, I actually quite like this movie! Even though it's not in the same league as Pang Brother's The Eye or even Thai horror movie Shutter, I thought the movie was quite engrossing and scary.

Perhaps after so many horror comedies revolving around ghosts, this movie was somewhat a pleasant change to me. There were hardly any comedy scenes or jokes in the dialogues - the story was dead serious - and scariness was cramped into almost every scene throughout the movie.

The movie began promisingly enough with the haunting scene of Jia Li committing suicide in the most unusual way (I'm not revealing here - you got to watch it!) accompanied by the sound of rattle drums. Bizarre incidents were then unravelled layer by layer with the introduction of different characters - the girl who aborted her baby, the school girl who was raped and hung herself, the boy who died in the fire - but all somehow tied to the main character.

Yes, there were some weakness in the plot and character development was lacking. There were also problems with uneven pacing and scenes that were changed suddenly. At times I was not sure if the protagonist was dreaming or it actually did in fact happened. But DO NOT let all these disappoint you.

Acting wise, I did not put up too much expectation. I mean, the lead character is played by a real life radio deejay and not an actor, so what can you expect? However, I thought Dennis Zhou did all right, given that he did not have much experience in acting. Malaysian radio deejay Gan Mei Yan who played Jia Li, was quite natural although it's a pity she did not have enough scenes to showcase her acting talents. Eunice Olsen, who played Pauline, was a little wooden in my opinion, but it did not really affect the movie as a whole.

And yes, there were the usual cliches.... Like the creepy old lady, the silhouette figure crossing the doorway, the eerie shophouse that sells joss sticks and funeral stuffs, and the female victim dripping with blood.

Or the scary Chinese music from the olden days playing in the middle of the night, the ghostly hand sticking out from under the bed to touch your feet, and the act of going down on all fours and spying under the door to see if anyone or any 'thing' is inside the room.

Talking about spying under the door - this kind of scene just creeps me out! For heaven's sake, why does anyone feel the need to spy under the door?

If you are a horror movie fan, haven't you seen them all? I bet you have, but guess what? Despite having watched similar scenes from countless of other ghost movies, you will still be spooked by this movie! I think it has a lot to do with the movie's excellent sound effects.

From the heart pumping sound of the rattle drums to the traditional horror music mixed with distorted electronic sounds, the movie is able to build up the eerie atmosphere and amplify the scare factor. Perhaps, this is where the movie succeeds in. Ultimately, a movie that manages too scare the hell out of me, despite all its flaws, is a successful movie to me!

So, do I recommend this movie? Absolutely. Although the duration of the movie is a little short at only 1 hour and 20 minutes, I feel it makes the story tighter. Any longer and the movie might just become draggy. So go watch it - and do keep your eyes open!

Storyline : 6/10
Scariness : 7/10
Acting : 5/10
Sound Effect : 8/10
Overall : 6/10