‘Koma’ Has a Lot of Heart (and Other Organs) (review)

Chinese movie, AKA Gau Min; in Cantonese, with subtitles. Ching (Angelica Lee) gets drunk in a hotel at her friend’s wedding, and accidentally stumbles upon a bloody woman whose kidney has just been stolen. She lays the blame on Ling (Karena Lam), who coincidentally has been sleeping with Ching’s boyfriend Wai. Ling begins threatening and stalking her. However, when Ching is attacked by the kidney thief (an irony because she has renal failure and could use a new kidney herself), Ling fights him off. Though Ling is still surly and contemptuous of Ching, the two gradually become friends. But things take a sinister turn when the kidney thief comes back into their lives.

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It’s interesting how class puts a wall between Ching and Ling. Ching is wealthy but has failing health, while Ling is healthy but needs money to bring her dying mother home from the hospital. Ling is physically and emotionally stronger (at least she’s constantly saying so). Yet somehow they’re friends. Speaking of which, in the Asian horror movies I’ve seen, it seems like many of them focus on women and their relationships with each other (whether they’re heroines or mean girls getting their comeuppance), while men are background features.

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I feel there’s a lot to like here. I love urban legends, so I enjoy the inclusion of the missing kidney tale. The performances are good, as are the special effects. It’s really more a psychological thriller than a horror movie (hence no hairy ghosts), but it can get pretty gory. And homoerotic, at least according to the movie posters:

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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