Movie Review: Yi Ngoi (Accident) (2009)

Seen: On dvd on our projector set-up, rented from the Tisch Library at Tufts.

“The Brain” is in the business of murdering for money, but not in the manner you might expect. For a hefty fee, he and his cohorts create intricate “accidents” that end in the target’s death, often in a public environment. When an out-of-control city bus interrupts one of their jobs, Brain believes he was the intended victim, immediately suspecting his associates as well as men connected to his most recent assassination. He becomes obsessively paranoid, spiraling downward into a kill-or-be-killed mindset that leads him to maliciously stalk a potentially corrupt insurance agent.

With a tight, no-nonsense script and neatly-trimmed pacing, Accident is a near-perfect thriller. The premise is intriguing and director Pou-Soi Cheang decides to show more than tell in his approach, aided by fantastic cinematography. Every shot is beautiful, you could watch this movie on mute and be sufficiently compelled. The intimate shooting style heightens the feeling of paranoia experienced by Brain, swirling around unfamiliar domestic spaces as he obsessively spies on the insurance agent’s apartment. We see the situation completely from his point of view, unsure how reasonable his fear is, or how far he will go to prevent his own supposedly imminent murder. There are some awesome high-concept death scenes, though one is so complicated and unlikely as to be distracting. However, between the interesting characters and captivating visual aesthetic, I could easily look past the few minor missteps.


Pair This Movie With: There are definitely parallels to The Conversation, and I think that’d make for a great double feature. OR if you want to go for something less “Film with a capital F”, the concept of a bunch of murders that are staged as accidents OBVIOUSLY reminded me instantly of Final Destination, which I now feel like revisiting. Because I remember that movie being awesome?

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