Given the enormous interest in Asian horror films as reflected in the English-language remakes of The Ring and The Grudge as well as the release of the pan-Asian horror omnibus Three and its sequel Three... Extremes in the West, Japan's Movie-Eye Entertainment, Thailand's Five Star Production and Hong Kong's Filmko Entertainment have joined hands in producing a US$2.5 million horror, Black Night, aimed at the international market.
This horror omnibus consists of three separate 30-minute stories which share the common theme of urban legends. The three segments are: Hong Kong's Next Door by director Patrick Leung (Twins Effect II), starring Annie Liu, Dylan Kuo and Race Wong; Black Hole by Japanese director Takahiko Akiyama (Hinokio), starring Asaka Seto, Takashi Kashiwabara and Tomorowo Taguchi, and Thailand's Lost Memory by director Thanit Jitnukul (Bang Rajan), starring Pichanart Sakhakorn, Kajonsak Ratananisai and Nutsha Bootsri.
Movie-Eye's founder COO Taku Ushiyama, who initiated the project, thinks pan-Asian production is the most effective way of gaining overseas market access, saying that "each of us here is not only a production company but also a distributor in our own country which treats the film as a local product".
He is producing the film together with Lim Young Chien, Aphiradee Iamphungphorn and Katherine Lee. His previous co-productions include 2003's Last Love, First Love and 2004's About Love, both of which were co-produced with Chinese companies.
Black Night, now in post-production in Bangkok, will open in Thailand in the first week of April, followed by Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Singapore a week later, and Japan in June.
(hkfilmart March 9, 2006)