An Army Ghost Story
23:59 (2011) is a Singaporean horror movie written and directed by Gilbert Chan. It's set in 1983 on Pulau Tekong, an island where Singaporean men attend National Service.
Synopsis from 23:59 The Movie FB page: A rumor had been circulating like wildfire amongst the soldiers. A mad woman living on the island had died at the exact hour of 23:59, and it is believed that her spirit had returned to haunt the soldiers at the exact same time.
One of the recruits, Tan, the introverted platoon outcast, is adamant that he will be the next victim of the mad woman's spirit. He tries to convince his buddy Jeremy that the woman's spirit has been visiting him every night. Jeremy laughs it off and claims that there are no such things as ghosts in this world. They only exist because of Tan's overactive imagination. However, during the 24km road march for the platoon in the forest, Tan was found dead by the river, with his limbs contorted in a strange way and an expression of deep fear on his face.
Overwhelmed with guilt, Jeremy decides to investigate Tan's death, convinced that it was not an accident as what the military officers believe. Little does he know that the truth behind Tan's death will unearth a terrible dark secret of the island and he will have to confront his deepest fears in order to find the truth.
Here's my feedback: Being a big fan of the horror genre, I can safely say that 23:59 is considerably mild and won't spook you to death. It doesn't have the spine-tingling, pure evil factor that broods all over you at the end of the movie but it does have some significant scary moments. Having said that, pay attention to scenes related to the character called "Chester". Another worthy-to-be-highlighted scene is when Sergeant Kuah (Mark Lee from Petaling Street Warriors) is doing headcount in the jungle while looking for the missing Tan...
I like its simple and straightforward plot based on supposedly true accounts about ghosts in Pulau Tekong. To heighten the movie's spookiness, most scenes are shot at night and in the jungle's naturally spooky atmosphere. The ghosts are not that scary-looking, so camera angles and some sound effect produce the necessary end-result to make you believe that they are scary.
To diffuse some tension, just stay relaxed and laugh at Sergeant Kuah's Singlish with Hokkien accent. He does it so naturally that I thought I'm watching a horror comedy.
Overall, if you don't mind watching a mild spooky movie, you might want to count this movie in.