John Lui Film Correspondent and Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: 27th Israel Film Festival

Bodies At Rest stars (from left) Richie Jen, Yang Zi, Feng Jiayi, Ma Shuliang, Nick Cheung and Carlos Chan.
Bodies At Rest stars (from left) Richie Jen, Yang Zi, Feng Jiayi, Ma Shuliang, Nick Cheung and Carlos Chan.PHOTOS: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES, ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Bodies At Rest stars (from left) Richie Jen, Yang Zi, Feng Jiayi, Ma Shuliang, Nick Cheung and Carlos Chan.
Echo (which stars Yael Abecassis, above)PHOTOS: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES, ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Bodies At Rest stars (from left) Richie Jen, Yang Zi, Feng Jiayi, Ma Shuliang, Nick Cheung and Carlos Chan.
Grace (Samara Weaving, above) and Alex (Mark O'Brien) are getting married in the home of his wealthy but eccentric family, who insist that the bride take part in a midnight ritual of picking a game in which the entire clan can participate.PHOTOS: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES, ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

BODIES AT REST (NC16)

93 minutes/ 3.5 stars

On a stormy Christmas Eve in Hong Kong, three masked men (including Richie Jen in a Santa mask) break into a mortuary and demand that pathologist Nick (Nick Cheung) and his assistant (Yang Zi) retrieve a bullet from a dead woman's body. Nick tries to outwit the vicious thugs, who have no qualms about killing in order to get what they want.

In this fun, inventive thriller, veteran Hong Kong actor Cheung is a solid presence while Taiwanese singer-actor Jen plays valiantly against type as a villain.

Boon Chan


27TH ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL

A middle-aged man who is living a quiet life with his wife and two children receives an innocuous piece of mail from the government.

Inside is information that shatters his image of his wife, leaving him consumed with jealousy and yearning for answers.

The mystery drama Echo (2018, M18, 98 minutes) asks the question: How much do we really know about our partners?

Echo (which stars Yael Abecassis) is part of the Israel Film Festival, one of Singapore's longest-running. The festival returns with six new feature films and free screenings of older works at Lasalle College of the Arts and the National University of Singapore.

WHERE: FilmGarde Bugis+, Level 5, 201 Victoria Street MRT: Bugis WHEN: From Thursday to Sept 1, various times ADMISSION: $13 INFO: fgcineplex.com.sg

John Lui


READY OR NOT (M18)

96 minutes/4 stars

In a flashback scene, a terrified man is chased through a mansion before he is shot full of arrows by men and women in masks and formal dress.

In the present day, Grace (Samara Weaving, left) and Alex (Mark O'Brien) are getting married in the home of his wealthy but eccentric family, who insist that the bride take part in a midnight ritual of picking a game in which the entire clan can participate.

The winning ingredient in this horror-comedy is tone. It walks the line between cartoonish mayhem and serious stakes with easy grace, with the goal of telling a story about what the 1 per cent really think of the poor.

Weaving's winning performance as the chatty but level-headed bride, who learns that she is marrying into a murder-happy version of the Addams family, is a major plus.

John Lui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2019, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe