Re-cycle is an Asian horror movie from Hong Kong. It is written and directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, also known as the Pang brothers.
The movie is about an author, Ting-Yin, who is ‘living’ her novel as she writes it. After publishing three successful romantic novels, Ting-Yin struggles to come up with the idea for the follow-up novel. Her book agent comes up with the idea that she should turn to a different genre. And before she knows it, her book agent has already come up with the new title and genre, Re-cycle, a supernatural novel. But as soon as she starts to work on her new novel, she finds it hard to concentrate (writer’s block). She keeps on writing and deleting her work. Since then, strange events begin to take place in her apartment. She soon realizes that what she experiences is what she has already written for her new novel. One night, she steps out of the elevator in her apartment building and ends up in a terrifying world where all abandon things in life ends up, including ghosts and lost souls. She soon meets an old man and a familiar young girl who helps her find her way back to her own world. But she has not got much time, because a female ghost that she had created and written about and later erased from the new novel, is after her.
Overall, the movie reminds me of a dark and scary version of Disney World meets the afterlife. It has a scary, fantasy, and adventurous setting. I also noticed that some parts of the movie have relations to what some Chinese people believe in reality, such as the scenes with the aborted babies and the graveyard scenes. These scenes seemed more realistic in terms of its meanings compared to the scene with the giant, abandon toys. My favourite scene is when Ting-Yin and the young girl have to cross a bridge where the dead walks. Ting-Yin has to hold her breath as she crosses the bridge. In reality, the Chinese believe that if you are anywhere near a place where the ghosts and spirits wanders at night, like a graveyard, always hold your breath, or else the ghost or spirit will follow or possess you. Even the background music to that scene will get you praying for Ting-Yin to make it across the bridge. Apart from the movie being scary and heart-jumping, there is also a sense and feeling of lost and sadness between Ting-Yin and the young girl, who holds a big secret that only she and the old man knows.
This might sound silly, but after watching the movie, it somehow got me thinking as to whether this kind of world really exists. Or if that is what the afterlife looks like. There is also a slight twist at the end of the movie. Some might get it, some probably won’t. As for me, I am in the middle. I have seen this movie four times, and I am still wondering about the ending. It is one of those endings where the answer is right in front of you the entire time without you even realizing it. Unless you are smart enough to realize it from the beginning.
My favourite character in the movie is the young girl, because I can feel the loneliness and sadness that she feels, especially during those times when she wants Ting-Yin to know her big secret.
In my opinion, the only negative and disappointing thing I have to say about the movie is that I’d wanted to see more of the terrifying, fantasy world. When it reached the climax of the movie, I feel as though everything, the scenes and the actions, were happening kind of fast, like the directors wanted to finish the movie and get to the point as soon as possible. I thought that the other scenes before the climax were much better than the climax itself. However, this is just my opinion.
This movie is definitely worth a watch. Check out the link below for the trailer.