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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
ILHM Reviews: 23:59June 18 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The recruits of a small Polynesian training camp spend their nights frightening each other with terror tales of the spirits that supposedly lived on the island, but as they will soon discover through the deaths of several of their friends, the stories are true! Writer/Director Gilbert Chan breaks into the international Horror scene with the eerie and atmospheric 23:59, which takes its name and ghostly legends from Polynesian folklore. 23:59 assembles a talented group of young actors to play the unfortunate troops in the haunted platoon, with Henley Hii providing a strong lead as the crowd skeptic, Jeremy. It is only through the deaths of his fellow classmates and a few ghastly revelations of his own that Jeremy is able to confront the spirits and put them at ease. Chan offers an even blend of shock and terror through his startling imagery, but leans towards more traditional scares that are built on the deepening mood that surrounds his characters. 23:59 holds a certain appeal for fans of the similarly-themed DORM, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, and WHISPERING CORRIDORS.
-Carl Manes I Like Horror Movies
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent StoryAug. 7 2013
Gary S. Rotella
- Published on Amazon.com
I found this movie to be real good. This is the first military ghost story that I ever watched. The director of this movie did research about the story, because it was inspired by true events. He actually did find newspaper stories about the death of the soldier, and the dark secrets on the haunted island. The young cast was excellent and the ending was very good. The disfigured girl and her mother actually are the main characters in the movie. It's a mystery, a psychological thriller, and also about redemption. It is also a very sad story which will deal with your emotions. Not to be missed, just buy it the price is great. Gary Rotella
Unbearably BadOct. 17 2015
- Published on Amazon.com
While it is not often I am left unable to identify anything redeeming about a movie– even third-tier, b-list horror films– 23:59 is about as close as I have seen a film come to being completely unwatchable.
Billed as a horror/mystery, 23:59 is a Malaysian “horror” film (I use the term lightly) that focuses on a group of soldiers stationed at a base where their duties are minimal, free time is abundant, and something sinister is afoot. This description sounded promising enough to me, and when I noticed 23:59 averages a 3 & ½ star rating on Amazon (as of writing this) I figured I would give it a try.
From beginning to end, 23:59 is replete with amateur acting, exhausted devices (ex: the door that opens by itself, flashlights that go dead when trouble lurks nearby, etc.), and bad horror cliché after bad cliché the likes of which I usually only expect from American films. All of it is carried along by a story that is shallower than the kiddie pool and makes about as much sense as a scrambled 10x10 Rubik’s Cube.
I am not exaggerating when I say that 23:59 fails in all it tries to accomplish. It clearly expects its audience to feel bad for Tan, the frightened “runt” of the group who is regularly bullied by his peers, but instead we are encouraged to cheer against him because of how embarrassingly soft he is. It is impossible not to welcome his ridicule when he complains incessantly and proves incapable of performing physical duties even his 300 pound platoon-mate manages to accomplish without trouble.
Likewise, 23:59 wants its viewers to hate Chester, Tan’s main tormentor, even though he is right to deride Tan for not being able to hack it. When Tan goes down in the woods midway through the film with a calf cramp and bemoans his inability to keep walking, I was half-hoping Chester would initiate the broken-legged horse treatment and end Tan’s suffering. Regrettably, it never happens.
Beyond the many writing flaws and complete lack of character development, 23:59 never really determines what kind of horror movie it wants to be and instead opts to bring us a handful of non-threatening ghosts (none of which serve the main arc of the story in any way), a possession sequence so cheesy it probably came out of a can, and an underwhelming hunchbacked child whose costume was undoubtedly taken from the clearance rack at a Halloween shop. None of it is scary, an uncomfortable realization that is only made more awkward by the fact that none of it makes any sense, either.
Add a number of campy back-and-forths between superstitious Sergeant Kuah and his unbelieving CO to the mix as well as the glaring oddity that two of the film’s main characters, as Asian and un-American as can be, are named Jeremy and Chester, and the end result is a movie that does not deserved to be viewed by anyone ever again. 23:59 is unsuccessful from every angle; I say so not because I “didn’t get it” but because it failed to intrigue, scare, or entertain me in any way. I strongly advise spending your valuable time and hard-earned money on something else– ANYTHING else.