The Pang Brother’s ReCycle

What do you get if you take a mixing bowl and toss in The Cell, The Grudge, some Stephen King, Alice In Wonderland, The Lovely Bones and a not-too-subtle anti abortion message? You get ReCycle, a visually unbelievable, absolutely terrifying, boundlessly imaginative Chinese horror fantasy that no one saw, got overlooked to the max, and occupies an eternal spot in my DVD collection. Novelist Tsui (The Eye’s Anjelica Lee) is suffering from writer’s block following two bestsellers, expected by her publisher to churn out another one posthaste. Plagued at first by paranormal visions in her apartment, she’s suddenly thrown headlong into the otherworldly dimension of ReCycle, a place that can turn from beautiful to hellish and back again within minutes. Picture a surreal, abstract realm where everything that’s ever lost, forgotten or abandoned ends up, thrown together in a gorgeous but threatening dream world with various levels, planes and passages, seemingly endless and never predictable. The dead also reside here, as she soon learns, some of which don’t take kindly to intruders and can be pretty volatile. Forced to flee from one area of the realm to others and beyond, she’s joined by the spirit of a lost little girl, and put through one hell of time trying to find her way out. Included are dilapidated, haunted amusement parks, fields and mountains that extend for millions of miles, eerie forests where the ghosts of hanged prisoners leer out at them, vast crumbling cities, acres of forgotten children’s toys and in the film’s most wtf sequence, a giant gooey room filled with aborted fetuses that spring to life and slime anyone within reach. That’s right, the filmmakers aren’t really subtle with their pro-life sentiment, especially near the end, but as long as you can get past that, the rest is all incredible. The sheer scope of the film commands attention though, and anyone who daydreams or lets their imagination run wild will get an absolute kick out of it. It’s kind of like the world’s weirdest video game in cinematic form, structured like a play-through but given all the disorienting unease of your worst nightmare. 

-Nate Hill


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