31 Days of Reviews: Singular Cay (2012)

After a family moves into the luxurious mansion they’ve inherited, the wife starts hearing voices, and their daughter mysteriously disappears.

I had high hopes for this one. I really did. The cover art seemed intriguing. It looked like it was going to be something psychedelic. It looked like it was going to be some awesome, paranormal, psychological thriller. It wasn’t. I was disappointed, and honestly, I was very confused.

Singular Cay is a Chinese film from Hong Kong. The spoken language is Cantonese with subtitles. If you’re familiar with foreign films, this might give you expectations. Many Asian horror films are known for having complex plots, often having many twists and turns that make them not as straight forward as mainstream American films. A popular example of this is the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters.

In the case of Singular Cay, I definitely went into the movie with expectations, and these were not met. While I was expecting a bit of a complex story, what I got was something that seemed a little bit confused about where it was headed. Singular Cay begins like it’s going to be a paranormal film about a haunted house, then it jumps ship and tries to be a detective story. It comes back for a bit to dabble in horror again, heads into the realm of melodrama, and in the end, I have no idea what I watched.

I was hoping that the story would be redeemed in the end, but this wasn’t the case. The ending comes on suddenly, as if, in the editing room, someone noticed the movie was already 90 minutes and said, “Wow! Time to end this!”

It’s not irregular for people to be confused by the endings in foreign movies. Sometimes it takes multiple viewings in order to fully grasp the entire story. This is usually due to the complex storylines and cultural differences. That wasn’t the case here. It really feels like the ending came out of nowhere, and it was rushed. On top of that, they throw a whole other level to it in the last second that makes it even more confusing, if you weren’t confused already.

On top of that, story aside, I didn’t really think that Singular Cay was very polished. I’ve definitely seen better. For a good chunk of time, I actually wasn’t sure if this movie was meant to be a horror-comedy or to be taken seriously. I’m still not entirely certain because I can’t find a lot of information on it. If it was meant to be a horror-comedy or a satire of some sort, that would explain a lot of the elements I was unhappy with.

A lot of the music and sound effects are over the top, and the transitions aren’t that great. I watched a Chinese movie recently called The Midnight After, and that was meant to be a satire, so that’s why the satire element is on the table for this one. The two movies shared quite a few similarities in how they were produced and formatted.

Overall, I probably wouldn’t recommend Singular Cay. It felt like it didn’t have much of a direction that the story was going in, and I felt it was pretty below average. I’ve definitely seen better. It’s not that the story didn’t necessarily make sense. It just went off in a variety of directions that didn’t work cohesively together.

As I mentioned earlier, there is practically no information about this movie that I can find other than an IMDb page. I can’t even seem to find a trailer to include. If you really feel the urge to give this one a try,¬†you can find it on Netflix streaming.


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