The film THAT DEMON WITHIN is a chinese Hong Kong film directed by Dante Lam, starring Daniel Wu and Nick Cheung. This film is a supernatural crime thrillers and the main character (Dante Wu) playing Dave Wong a cop that has brutal visions and flashbacks to something that haunts him from his past. Among the flashbacks that occur in his head are moments of talking to his father often including conversations of discouragement from his dad. Along with seeing fire that happens inside a home containing a family inside. Fire was a major part of foreshadowing in the film. The use of CGI was the strength and helped the fire look real.
One thing I have noticed about post modern chinese films is the camera movement. Throughout the entire film of THAT DEMON WITHIN the camera is either dollying, panning, tilting, or tracking, and this is a common thing in Chinese Cinema nowadays and I feel that separates them from the rest of the cinema world. Because of this camera movement and use of obscure angles when the camera is on a static shot. It is very risky but they have the ability to make it work and fit the tone and pace of how the story moves along.
The biggest comparison to THAT DEMON WITHIN is FIGHT CLUB. I thought the use of alternate personalities and the controversy of fighting with oneself shows the similar attributes of both movies. The biggest problem I had with THAT DEMON WITHIN is the story took too long to tell. If I was the story teller I would have had Dave Wong the main character at the end when he looks himself into the mirror and sees his alternate person, and he is surrounded by fire inside a gas station, while hearing a man screaming inside a burning car Dave Wong (Dante Wu) holds a gun.If it were my story I would have had the character commit suicide by shooting himself and then explain the reason voices in his head were happening. I felt like the information giving was to much and less info would allow the audience to have to think about the story, rather than giving the viewer everything served on a plate right in front of them. More of a mystery aspect to the story could have been used.
All in all I thought THAT DEMON WITHIN was great, and it was amazing to have HIFF collaborate with HPU at Aloha Tower, as well as making it a free event. The special effects in the film were well planned and perfected, the music fit the atmosphere, and it was very violent which I happen to enjoy. Seeing this movie really displays the type of range and talent Chinese Cinema has.