New Tenant (1995)

Rating: C+

Dir: Anthony Wong
Star: Anthony Wong, Leung Hung Wa

This isn’t quite what you’d expect from the directorial debut of one of Hong Kong’s finest psychos, despite an opening which sees him released from a mental hospital (amusingly, his cure is proven by the fact that he can’t remember why he was committed – and no-one is willing to tell him!). Indeed, much though it burns on my lips, the word “sweet” comes to mind for this time-travelling romance. Alan Tam (Wong) resumes normal life, in an apartment with a faulty clock, only to find that whenever the clock runs, he goes back in time ten years – and only Dolphin, the daughter of the previous occupants, can hear him.

Gradually, their relationship builds, and his presence in the past becomes more tangible; but into every life a little rain must fall, and into every Anthony Wong movie, a psycho must come, even if it’s not him. In this case, it’s the fiance of Dolphin’s sister, who has a strange interest in human sacrifice… As well as starring and directing, Wong co-wrote and helped out with the music; he may have been stretching himself a little far, and while he has plenty of ideas, there are times when you yearn for less rather than more and he could develop things further instead of just flinging them at the viewer. However, the romance is nicely-handled, and Wong proves once again that he can do a good deal more than chew scenery.