aka Office yauh gwai
Karen Mok as Pat
Shu Qi as Shan
Jordan Chan as Richard
Stephen Fung as Ken
A trilogy of Terror! Wait, that’s owned by some other movie? Who cares, this is from China, bootlegs rule all, they can steal the slogan! Okay, fine. A movie with three intertwining stories, but not entirely intertwining as the third doesn’t start until the first one ends. Story number two just gets mixed up in the others, like it can’t stand on its own. Nor can it, but entirely because of the ending as you will see below. The first story has Karen Mok in it, so I will talk a lot about Karen Mok in this synopsis as she is hot and better than this movie. Shu Qi stars in the third story, she is hot as well, but to me doesn’t rate as high as Karen. As it’s all about me, I’m free to harp on her however I wish.
After a “shock” opening of a girl in an office building being killed by an unseen ghost, the movie can get underway! We begin with employees telling some of the new girls about how the building is haunted, and each July to October it claims nine new victims. They are nonchalantly telling the story, unconcerned with their possibility of being killed, so it would be surprising if people believed them. Karen Mok is one of the listeners, and Shu Qi is there as well. Karen’s ex-flame Ken arrives as well, as he has an interview for a position in the building as well, and he has an eye for Shu Qi.
Karen returns to her cubicle, but sees a woman dressed in white with white hair crying in the elevator on the way up. At her desk, Karen’s boss is putting the moves on her via flash emails, despite him already having a relationship with a different coworker. While in the bathroom, Karen notices a weird woman laughing for no reason at the furthest stall, and she goes to get some water, but her break is interrupted by blood and an earthquake, all of which seems to have been a hallucination. Screams attract her attention down the hall, the weird woman she saw in the bathroom has hung herself in her office, and the Chinese symbol for “one” is written on the wall.
But enough of that, let’s jump to story number two. A businessman named Richard and his assistant Ching are talking. Richard is the son of a businessman who took over his deceased father’s company, but unlike his father, Richard wants to get rich as soon as possible and however he can. Ching brings to his attention that worker Mary is about to retire with a giant pension package. Richard decides to get rid of her somehow so she won’t collect it. He gives her a lot of work around his house, but she does it all willingly. He heads to the bar to drink with his friends (after having sex with another of his employees at his place) and there he plans to have Ching get rid of her so he doesn’t look bad, and that can happen while he visits Thailand to have sex with white prostitutes.
Enough of that noise, let’s get back to Karen Mok! Her boss gives her a necklace as a present, but his girlfriend just gets enraged. Karen later sees her laughing in the bathroom like the weird girl from before. Karen doesn’t see anyone in the stall. Later, at a meeting, Karen gets put on nights for the next two months, guaranteeing her more ghost attacks. First, though, the bosses girlfriend from before is found dead on a copy machine, which is photocopying her bloody face, and a Chinese number “two” is written in blood. Karen tells the cops about the bathroom thing, but the stall the women were laughing at is just a storage area.
In Story #2 land, Richard is in Thailand so Ching goes about asking Mary to quit. Surprisingly, Mary does, as she would do anything for the company after working for Richard’s father for forty years. Her dismissal enrages the other employees, and Ching sets up a dinner for them all that night.
Story #2 needs to stop interrupting the Karen Mok story. It’s getting annoying. It’s like renting a movie about ducks, but the movie keeps showing chickens. Actually, that’s a terrible analogy. Forget I wrote that. Back to Karen Mok again. She sees the white haired ghost woman in the bathroom, and finally decides to use a bathroom on a different floor. That night, her coworker’s husband is involved in an auto accident and has to leave, so now Karen is left all alone. Weird lights distract her, until she finds they are caused by a rouge copy machine that is going off by itself. Her key to the downstairs bathroom breaks, and she doesn’t want to use the one on her floor, especially since it’s now emitting weird lights as well. She screams and runs, but finds herself mysteriously teleported inside the bathroom. A bloody hand coming out of the last stall causes her to flee again. Her friend Ba from downstairs drops by, and gets sucked into the bathroom by the ghost.
Karen grabs an axe and chops her way into the bathroom, and heads to the stall, but inside are three spirits including Ba. Green light flashes. Next morning, a female coworker sees Karen in the bathroom laughing like the weird girls. After a brief section where we find out the office worker whose husband was in the accident had him just have a broken leg while five other people who worked in the same building were killed, we follow Karen to the window, which she breaks open then leaps to her death.
Yep, she’s dead, and that’s the end of her in the movie. Stupid movie, like Karen Mok could ever be taken out by some dumb ghost.
So the ending of Story #1 makes way for Story #3 to start, the Shu Qi story. Ken returns and starts making moves on Shu Qi in the elevator. At Shu Qi’s workplace, she says her supervisor harasses her for dates constantly (are there NO sexual harassment laws in Hong Kong?) Ken is working in the same area, and has a “talk” with that supervisor, by almost breaking his arm. Another employee in that area is working on a giant picture document that has “hjflpfjkj” written in 96 point font. I have no clue what he could be doing. Threatening her boss wins Ken dinner with Shu Qi. Ken keeps seeing the ghost lady and just thinks she’s an albino. Seeing her again suddenly causes a make out session with Shu Qi. I got to get ghosts to start hanging out near me, as that seems a great way to get some tail.
Story #2 has not finished, and Richard returns from his trip to find everyone still working, including Mary. Since it becomes painfully obvious I’ll just explain it now, all his workers were the ones who died in the auto crash with the husband of Karen’s coworker, and now they are all ghosts. They all act weird, and Richard doesn’t catch on very quick. A friend of his tries to explain, but after emailing him a copy of the news story, his friend has a heart attack. He sees an expert on ghosts who gives him some cow’s tears and some advice. Ken also sees the same expert, who tells Ken the ghost is looking for a replacement, and Shu Qi is who she’s picked.
Richard uses the cow’s tears and sees the true form of the ghosts, and gets served eyeball tea. The ghosts realize he can see them and decide to “get it done.” Getting it done consists of giving Richard advice on living a better life, a la A Christmas Carol. Then they just leave. What an anti-climatic ending. I was expecting them to eat Richard’s soul or something.
Story #3 now. The ghost lady is seen around Shu Qi’s little brother, and takes him. Ken calls the ghost expert, but he’s caught in traffic. The ghost demands Shu Qi’s life for her brother’s, and she heads to the roof to kill herself. Ken follows, trying to stop it. Ken tries to grab her, but ends up falling to his death instead! Shu Qi was the ghost all along! Ken was the picked replacement, and the ghost lady really is an albino who can see ghosts, and tells Ken everything. Now Ken will have to look for a replacement next year. How fun! And he does, from the teaser shot of next year.
Wait, that’s it? If the ghosts want replacements, why did the other ghosts who were office workers stick around, and then leave completely? They didn’t seem to need replacements, and they all were killed in a car accident, not by ghosts. Five ghosts cheated this year. What kind of stupid haunted office building rewards cheating and laziness? Obviously the Haunted Office is following normal corporate rewards systems. The ghosts win in this movie, though once again you wonder why people continue to work in an office that constantly kills off employees.
Once again, the best part of this movie was Karen Mok.
Rated 7/10 (Bloody hand, Eyeball coffee, Venom, Odd Graphic, Karen Mok, Karen Mok, Karen Mok)