Hungry Ghost Ritual – original title: Yu Lan Sun Gung; 盂蘭神功 – is a 2014 Hong Kong-Malaysian supernatural horror film directed by Nick Cheung. It stars Nick Cheung, Annie Liu, Carrie Ng, Cathryn Lee, Lam Wai.
After incurring debts from his failed business venture in China, Zong Hua (Cheung) returns to Malaysia after a decade hiatus.
The demoralized Zong Hua faces problem finding a job and tries hard to get use to things at home, including his estranged relationship with his step-father, Xiaotian, who runs a Cantonese opera troupe and half-sister, Jing Jing (Cathryn Lee).
After his father suffers a heart attack, the reluctant assumes control of the troupe. He must contend with their in-fighting in addition to the normal obstacles such a production encounters, as well as a series of strange spooky happenings backstage…
“Sadly, the characters are so shallow and the plot lacking any clear narrative arc that it is difficult for viewers to become invested in the film. The scary set-pieces are also over-reliant on crashing audio cues rather than anything genuinely creepy, the contorting possessed bodies feel derivative of a dozen other better movies, while the CG-heavy effects work never feels tangible enough to evoke a reaction.” James Marsh, Twitch
“This Asia-pudding of a story and a company of actors might have proved to be the undoing in Cheung’s first attempt as a director, and his competence – and perhaps audacity, given he’s never starred in a horror film in his career before – in tackling this genre piece might be better served the next time with a more fully-formed narrative and cast.” Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter
The film was released on July 10, 2014, in Hong Kong and Malaysia.