Dark shapes move and dart across the walls of the long, decrepit corridor, only to quickly melt back into the darkness as the fluorescent lighting buzzes and flickers. Yan (Karena Lam) is moving into a new apartment, a recurring task that must be done in order to maintain her sanity. Yan sees ghosts. Tormented souls scream and writhe in pain on the edges of her vision. The burden of this “gift” has worn her down and is the cause of the countless scars along her wrists. She rarely ventures past the walls of her apartment, but every time, restless spirits find their way into her private spaces.
Yan’s second sight has been constantly misdiagnosed as mental illness, resulting in a barrier between her and loved ones in her life. Her relatives make her yet another appointment with a psychiatrist – this time it’s a trusted family friend, Jim Law (Leslie Cheung). A respected doctor known for debunking supernatural-based cases, Jim’s initial arrogant rationality unsettles Yan, whose confidence has been locked behind tired eyes for years. A slow game of trust unfolds and a solution to Yan’s terrifying visions seems to be in sight, but soon spectres start to bleed into Jim’s professional world.
Ghost stories in Hong Kong’s hi-tech world of gleaming towers with sterile interiors seem to be a sharp contrast to the dank realm of the supernatural, but director Lo Chi Leung capitalizes on this eerie dichotomy. Obvious comparisons can be made to mainstream shockers like The Sixth Sense, but the Hong Kong film industry has always used the basic notions of Hollywood productions as a springboard for larger leaps into the world of fantasy. Together with a sharp production team, including acclaimed director Derek Yee (Cageman), Lo has crafted a slick supernatural thriller with a foreboding sense of dread that will creep over the audience.
Sadly, Inner Senses also marks the tragic end to the career of one of Hong Kong’s most beloved performers, Leslie Cheung, who passed away April 1, 2003. Cheung performed in some of the best known Hong Kong movies of the last two decades, working under the direction of such directors as Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-wai, Tsui Hark, Ronny Yu and John Woo. We will always remember his contribution to films such as A Better Tomorrow (1986), A Chinese Ghost Story (1987), Days of Being Wild (1991), The Bride With White Hair (1993), Farewell My Concubine (1993), Ashes of Time (1994), and Happy Together (1997).
Chi-Leung Lo has directed Viva Erotica (1996), Double Tap (2000) and Inner Senses (2002).