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The Army Is A Scary Place In ‘23:59: The Haunting Hour’

Seven years is a long time to wait for this inferior sequel.

Union of the snake-skin: A NS man has a close encounter with the spooky kind.

Union of the snake-skin: A NS man has a close encounter with the spooky kind.

23:59: - The Haunting Hour (PG13)

Starring Mark Lee, Wang Lei, Melody Low

Directed by Gilbert Chan

Fans of the 2011 army-themed local horror original, 23:59, will feel short-changed by this slapdash, ill-advised sequel. Again directed by Gilbert Chan, The Haunting Hour is an anthology of three ghoulish nuggets told by an NSman with a taste for the macabre via his blog.

The first tale, about a WWII Japanese soldier zombie wreaking havoc in the jungle, is all set-up with zero payoff. The middle story, concerning a bunch of commandos (including a scene-stealing Mark Lee) menaced by a sexy snake spirit, is more laughable than scary. Rounding off the collection is a run-of-the-mill yarn where the wannabe Stephen King has a spooky encounter with a secret admirer.

Lame and lackluster, The Haunting Hour is more like Amateur Hour. Whatever potential Chan showed in the first movie isn’t here; he really dropped the ball on this one, and it fell through the floor and straight into the pits of Hell. What’s truly frightening is that this movie actually got made. (*1/2)

Photo: Golden Village

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