Monday June 11, 2012
Tales of terror Free scares
By SETO KIT YAN
Supernatural tales abound in the Singaporean horror flick, Ghost On Air.
People are naturally curious about the unknown, unseen, and unheard; they cannot resist tales of the paranormal. In this new supernatural flick from Singapore titled Ghost On Air, a radio deejay tells ghost stories on the radio to attract a wider audience but ends up getting more than he bargained for.
Ping Xiao (Dennis Chew) is a two-time most popular radio deejay winner. His deceased girlfriend Jia Li (Gan Mei Yan) was an author who wrote ghost stories. Sinking into depression after Jia Li’s death, Ping Xiao loses his much-coveted drivetime slot to the young and pretty deejay Pauline (Eunice Olsen).
Worse, his boss Albert (Samuel Chong) even assigns him to do the weekend graveyard shift. Desperate to regain his superstar status, Ping Xiao resorts to telling Jia Li’s unpublished ghost stories during the wee hours of the night. He soon discovers that there is more to her stories than meets the eye and decides to investigate.
Can he uncover the truth about the hauntings before it’s too late?
In a group phone interview recently, director Cheng Ding An, Singapore’s Y.E.S. 93.3FM deejay Chew, and Malaysia’s My FM deejay Gan regaled Malaysian media members with ghost stories of their own.
Cheng told of how a coffee break with Chew led to an animated chat about ghost stories and gave them the idea for his latest film project.
Also known in Mandarin as “Ling Ting”, Ghost On Air is Singaporean auteur Cheng’s second feature film and his first attempt at the horror genre. Cheng’s first full-length movie was Kallang Roar, a 2008 sports biopic about the legendary Singaporean national football coach Choo Seng Chee, who led the country to win the Malaysia Cup in 1977.
“In Singapore, I had a radio segment called Zhou Gong Jiang Gui where I tell ghost stories. I pre-recorded the stories during the day so it’s not really scary. But, my colleagues who had to air the stories at night found them too scary, and asked for the programme to be scrapped, because they were too afraid to even go to the toilet,” offered Chew, who is better known for, and who shot to fame after his protrayal as, the amusing middle-aged Aunty Lucy from the variety show Paris And Milan. Chew already tried his hand at horror comedy last year in The Ghosts Must Be Crazy, where he played a young man possessed by ghosts during a Singapore National Service exercise.
He also contributed one of the ghost stories in the movie – the one about how the aborted foetus “turned” into a child and started haunting its young mother. “A radio listener told me about how she kept seeing a child in her house, who kept talking to her and wanting to hug her everyday. The exorcist she hired revealed that the previous flat owner had an abortion, and the spirit of the dead child, now aged six, had mistaken her as his mother.”
Though initially apprehensive when approached for the role, Gan said she eventually agreed as she was impressed by the director’s sincerity. The pretty lass, who has played supporting roles in several Malaysian Chinese movies, confirmed that another movie project was already in the pipeline.
Gan also shared ghost stories told by her fellow deejay and frequent collaborator Jack Lim, whom she has worked with on local movies like Tiger Woohoo (2010), Ah Beng The Movie: Three Wishes (2012) and 3X Trouble (2012).
“Once, I was in a hotel room by myself, while Jack was in the adjacent room. I usually have the TV on when I’m alone in a hotel room. So, when I was washing my face in the bathroom, I noticed that the TV went off. I proceeded to turn it back on, but, when I returned to the bathroom, the TV went off again. This continued a few times, before I concluded that ‘my guest’ did not appreciate having the TV on.
“Meanwhile, in Jack’s room, the complete opposite was happening at the same time. Jack had switched off the TV as he was about to leave his room. But, after he shut the door, he was surprised to hear the TV still on. So, he went back into the room, and turned the TV off again. And, this carried on a few times too, so we concluded that it was a ‘little friend’ just playing with us.”
Gan spoke of another incident involving Jack and his family: “Jack’s family was in Genting Highlands for a concert. It was getting late, and his wife Veron and son Lucas were already preparing for bedtime in the hotel room when the little boy exclaimed to his mother, ‘Ma, why are there so many people in here?’ Somewhat unnerved by her child’s innocent remark, she admonished him, ‘Don’t talk nonsense, dear. Quickly get into bed.’ Unperturbed, the boy then told her, ‘But, there’s an aunty standing there by the bed.’
“Freaking out by this time, she scooped her child into her arms and rushed out to join the thousands of music lovers in the concert hall, still wearing her pyjamas. Jack later asked his son, “So, where were the people in the room coming from?’
“The boy replied, ‘Flying in from the window’.”
■ For more ghost stories, catch Ghost On Air as it starts haunting local cinemas this Thursday.
IF you love creepy supernatural tales, here is your chance to catch Ghost On Air (rated P13) for free, two days before it opens in local cinemas. RAM Entertainment is giving away 60 pairs of passes to Star2 readers for a special screening of the film.
Adding to the creepy atmosphere, two ladies in long white dresses carrying traditional Chinese toy rattle-drums will be making their rounds as ghosts at GSC Pavilion Kuala Lumpur from 7pm. For a chance to win prizes, be brave and snap a picture of yourself with the ghost(s). Then post the photo up on RAM Entertainment’s Facebook page and give it a creative caption. Up for grabs is an Audio-Technica PROdeejay headphone set worth RM332, and other prizes.
> Each person is entitled to redeem one coupon only.
> Please note that the method of distributing the tickets is at the sole discretion of the distributor and no correspondence will be entertained.