Angelica Lee plays as a tailor by the name of Yi, who is perturbed by disturbing dreams of her standing on a wasteland. At the same time, Sergeant Au (Huo Si Yan) is trying to track down the kidnapper of her own nephew with no success even after 3 months. The boy’s panicked mother and Au’s sister, Peggy (Charlie Yeung), blames her for being incapable. Despite that, Au vows to find the kidnapper and bring him to justice. When the Sergeant eventually encounters Yi during an investigation on Yi’s missing husband, Au realizes that Yi’s puzzling dreams may hold mysterious clues about both cases.

The film’s slow-pacing during the first half and occasional light hearted moments served to lull the audience into a false sense of security, which emphasized the tension in the scarier scenes present in the latter parts of the movie.

On top of that, audience started making guesses about the ending because the plot point was prematurely hinted, which causes the film to lose the element of surprise. One of the downside of the film was the fact that there were too many acts, causing it to be rather disconnected, making it hard for the audience to follow the plot line.

What really brought this film up by a notch were Lee’s acting and her solo scenes. Known for her thriller acts from ‘The Eye’, ‘Re-cycle’ and ‘Koma’, Lee lived up to our expectations in this film and captured the essence of Yi extremely well. She portrayed the symptoms of psychosis and paranoia realistically with her frightened and spaced out looks. The most notable scene would be Yi’s hysterical mental breakdown at the park because Lee pulled it off skilfully.

Because the film revolves around so many mysteries, the music used makes you curious about what happens next and keeps you listening. On top of that, the atmosphere of fear was almost palpable because of the sinister and suspenseful background music.

The cinematography was fitting to the nature of the film because the colours were slightly saturated at most times and it gave off a dream-like feel, emphasizing on the oddity of her dreams. A shaky handheld camera was used in most sequences to add to the gritty rawness of the movie, making the scenes feel more spontaneous and interactive while adding to the tension of the situation.

To sum it up, Sleepwalker is another film to add on to Oxide Pang’s list of horror-thriller films that included ‘The Detective’ and ‘Diary’, and is definitely one that you should catch if you’re a big fan of his works. Other than that, slouch back in your seat and wait for the suspenseful music to come on because that’s cue for the film picking up its pace.

Movie: Sleepwalker
Rating: ★★★✩✩
Opens: Nov 3
Duration: 104 mins
Language: Chinese
Age Rating: PG – Consumer advice unavailable
Genre: Thriller

Director: Oxide Pang
Cast: Angelica Lee, Huo Si Yan, Charlie Yeung