One of Hong Kong’s top genre directors after a string of hits over the last few years, Dante Lam follows his character-based MMA drama UNBEATABLE (HIFF 2013) with THAT DEMON WITHIN. Though it again sees Lam teaming with acclaimed actor Nick Cheung, the film is a very different proposition, a psycho drama with horror touches and violent action sequences that follows a troubled cop’s descent into madness.
Daniel Wu plays Dave Wong, an uptight Hong Kong police officer currently sidelined to a quiet security job in a hospital. One night his life is thrown into disarray after he agrees to give a blood transfusion to a seriously injured man (Nick Cheung), who turns out to be Han, the leader of the criminal Demon Gang, responsible for a recent spree of violent heists. Blamed by his colleagues for saving the life of a cop-killer, Dave finds himself cracking under the pressure after Han escapes, past traumas resurfacing, and when the bodies of the other gang members start piling up, he begins to question his sanity as he tries to track down the murderer.
Violent, flashy and well-acted, THAT DEMON WITHIN is more than just another cop thriller, and Dante Lam deserves praise for trying something a little bit different or less commercial rather than pandering to Mainland audiences.
The Asian Cinerama is co-organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy and the Hawaii International Film Festival and is financially supported by Create Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Film Development Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government.
The first screening of this film will be followed by a special post-screening discussion with Clarence Tsui, Senior Film Reviewer for The Hollywood Reporter. The encore screening at Hawaii Pacific University will be free to the public and un-ticketed.