Koma (2004)

Rating: B-

Dir: Law Chi-Leung
Star: Angelica Lee, Karena Lam, Andy Hui, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin

Heard the urban legend about waking up in a bathtub of ice, with an organ missing? That, perhaps along with Fatal Attraction, is the basis for this, and it’s a combination which turns out to be both a strength and a weakness. After a drunken escapade at a wedding, Ching (Lee) stumbles into the wrong bedroom, only to be greeted by a blood-drenched woman crawling across the floor. She has been de-kidneyed, and the chief suspect is Ling (Lam) – who turns out to have a connection to Ching’s boyfriend, doctor Wai (Andy Hui). And after Ching tabs her as the suspect, she begins a campaign of terror, threatening to come after Ching and engage in some live transplant work…

That isn’t the end of things, by any means, and you’ll certainly be kept entertained until the very end, even if the last twist is clumsily foreshadowed early on. The script also does stretch credulity to the maximum, with some elements that rely too much on coincidence or, frankly, defy belief; the developing relationship between the two women would be one of those, and the triangle among the leads is perhaps the film’s weakest link. But credit to the actresses for papering over these cracks with a pair of fully-committed performances, that turn the opposing characters almost into mirror-images of each other. By the final reel, when the gloves come off – and the surgical ones go on instead – this has become the stuff of emotional, as much as physical, nightmares.