Ghost on Air is a made-in-Singapore ghost movie, starring famous local deejay and artiste, Dennis Zhou Chongqing (周崇庆) as a spooked deejay who tells ghost stories on air. The movie is produced by Merelion Pictures and directed by Cheng Ding An. It all boils down to a film that aspires to be a horror story as much as it tries to celebrate them through its DJ-sharing-stories-on-air conceit. I will try and cut some slack to the director who this is their sophomore feature, but, the result is a bewildering farrago of horror clichés that never coheres to anything of importance.
It’s quite unexpected to see Zhou Chong Qing as the main lead of a horror flick! I think he played his role really well. There was quite a bit of scares here and then coupled with the sound effects. There was a few times where I found myself wishing the scary scenes would end quickly because I was kind of tired of the paint by number antics. Except for the film’s haunting first scene of Jia Yi submerging her face into a pail of water, the rest of the film is confusing, whitewashed crap, and a complete waste of time. It’s with much reluctance that I am resorting to explaining the synopsis without giving away spoilers, because the truth is there is little to spoil. The plot, which is at best, paper-thin, and at worst, incoherent, never awards proper payoffs for the random scenes that spring up sporadically, and by its end you’ll also realize certain characters’ appearances were entirely arbitrary and of no significance.
So what is the film REALLY about? Soon enough, he gets possessed by these stories, first by checking himself into a decrepit shophouse that Jia Yi once stayed in, and in the process, making contact with the many apparitions that appear in her supposedly fictional works. There are so many sub characters thrown in, including that of Jia Yi’s impregnated best friend, a young school girl who gets raped, the rapist who committed suicide and a loony, aging caretaker, but by film’s end you’ll realize that they have absolutely nothing to do with the film’s overall thrust. Well, I believe what makes a good horror movie is that it can instill fear in the audience. So horror wise, this movie is a fail.
The script shows no character development or enough backstory and quite frankly, I think I’ve had enough with Singapore horror films. I haven’t seen a good one in years, and due to its inexperienced cast and crew, is certainly not on par with the standard of a locally produced movie. Newbie director Cheng Ding An’s horror flick is a hodgepodge of ideas that could have been compelling, but its narrative is so badly strung together that none of the characters actually cohere or make sense by the end of the film. Avoid. End.