This Taiwanese production pays homage to an earlier era of filmmaking; a detective thriller with a supernatural twist.
An FBI specialist and a Taiwan cop team up to track a unique serial killer. Let’s dig into 2002’s DOUBLE VISION, directed by Kuo-Fu Chen!
As I See It
I’ve said it before, but there is always a hangover in the first few years of a decade when it comes to cinema, marked by the presence of notable traits from the preceding era. What’s odd about this early 2000s film is it seems more eighties than nineties, but it still looks its age.
Well-shot and properly performed but a little too loosely written, this supernatural thriller bends reality to bring intuitions and mythological powers to life.
Completely dubbed, it features one American actor, David Morse, who speaks all his lines in his native language. He’s a good actor. That’s why he’s been in so many big-budget films.
It’s a shame that the Hollywood machine would require Morse to go to another country to land a starring role. But thankfully, for his resume, that role was in this quality production.
The serial killer story feels forced. The method of killing is unique and interesting, but the killer never feels like the boogeyman we should be afraid of. Once we drop that and focus on the supernatural element, things get fun.
That temple massacre scene? Goddamn! It’s bloody and ultra-violent — and completely unexpected. It’s got a bit of the Tarantino Kill Bill dojo scene vibe to it.
David Morse (Kevin Richter) has been working for a long time and is one of those character actors everyone knows. Some of his most memorable roles are Brutal Howell in Stephen King’s The Green Mile, Dr. Peters in Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, and Major Baxter in Michael Bay’s The Rock.
Of Gratuitous Nature
Thank goodness the stillborn baby in the opening scene doesn’t look realistic enough to traumatize. Regardless, it is a heavy tone to set in the first scene.
The sets and the set decorating detail are pretty amazing. Sometimes it borders on an oddities shop, with a menagerie of fetus jars and weird body art, but it keeps it interesting at the very least.
Ripe for a Remake
Turning medical oddities into a backstory could provide a rich amount of material. Focusing on some sort of twin defect seems to be a recurring theme, though, whether it’s Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers or Malignant (yes, it’s a tumor). There are plenty of deformities to exploit for supernatural powers.
No progeny to report.
Where to Watch
It doesn’t seem that there has been a proper high-definition film release in a physical copy. You can stream it on Tubi.