Title: There Is A Secret In My Soup

Also known as:
Ren tou dou fu shang

Year: 2001

Genre: Horror

Language: Cantonese

Runtime: 91 min

Director: Yeung Chi Gin

Writer: Yeung Chi Gin, Siu Jat Ming

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0299109/

After Kitty turns up missing and is reported to the police, they soon investigate an abandoned apartment of where she was last scene. The only thing that they are able to find are human remains. After the police arrest the former tenants, the story unfolds as they are told about the horrors and the human atrocities that took place in that apartment.

Our thoughts:
By now, I should really no better than to let the hype get to me, but the first time I heard about the movie "There Is A Secret In My Soup" was on the HKFlix website. Where they happen to go on and on about how disturbing the movie was, so naturally I couldn't help but be curious and very interested in watching it. Which maybe why I was left disappointed when the movie was over. There have been plenty of nasty flicks to come out of Hong Kong, such as the "Men Behind the Sun" series or "The Untold Story", but there are plenty lackluster ones that get a lot of hype, like "Dr. Lamb". Where the hype and the rumors are far greater than what the movie actually lives up to, and it appears "There Is A Secret In My Soup" falls under that category. Without a doubt, the movie earned the infamous Category III rating and is an unpleasant one, but it isn't as bad as you may think.

Once again, a rather simple and straight forward story. A woman ends up working for as scumbag when she is in need of some help, she steals some money from the scumbag and goes on the run. The scumbag and his gang find her and catch her, and to teach her a lesson they beat or torture her for an extended period of time, till she ends up dead. Don't worry I didn't ruin the movie for you, as the story folds out through flash-backs and the re-telling of what happened. As the movie starts off with an investigation of an abandoned apartment where they find a human skull, and soon arrest all the people who use to live there. So the movie does take awhile before it starts getting to the nasty stuff, which is fine, as the progression does what any good movie is suppose to do. Setup the story and the characters. Which seems to be something that both filmmakers and movie-goers seem to have forgotten.

The movie does help create sympathy for lead female character, Kitty, who is tortured. As we watch how she is stuck with an abusive husband with an even worst mother-in-law, and in her attempt to escape that life lands her into prostitution and being surround by low-lifes. While the torture maybe weak compared to other movies, you still can't help but feel bad as she becomes nothing more than a toy for these people. She is beat repeatedly throughout the movie, punched, kicked, hit with whatever object is near by. Then the scene that gets brought up the most, the scene where she is forced to eat human feces. Which is disgusting, but the movie believes more in the idea of what you don't see is worse than what you do see. No, I did not watch a cut version of the movie. You don't get long shots of these incidents, rather just quick cuts, such as the scene of the shit eating. You see the spoon full of shit getting lifted to her mouth, and quickly get shoved in, but then it just cuts right to her coughing and gagging. While still effective none the less, it does seem that even the people behind the camera didn't really want to show how nasty these scenes could be.

As I said, all these scenes of torture lead up to the eventual death of the woman. The gang, surprised by this, don't know what to do and don't want to go to jail so they decide to hack up the body and boil the remains. How they came to this decision, I don't really know. Though boiling the body parts does allow the movie to live up to its title, I won't say what goes down, I'll just let your imaginations do the work. It really isn't long after this that the movie draws to an end as it gives us the fate of the people involved in this disgusting crime. So here is another key point in where the movie becomes a bit of a disappointment. Not only is the torture not any where near as bad as it is hyped up to be, but there really isn't much here. The scenes are spread out but they really don't come into play until the later half of the movie, and because the scenes are so quick. It doesn't really pack the punch that it needs to effect the viewer. The squeamish and the easily offended will definitely be bothered by what they see, for the veteran viewers it will be a case of been-there-done-that, seen-better.

Sure the torture doesn't live up to the hype, but looking at the movie as a whole, it is a good movie. The story plays out very well, the setup of the characters is done correctly, you hate the bad guys and have sympathy for the poor woman who is tortured, and when the movie ends it brings closure to the story and characters. So if you've been wanting to watch "There Is A Secret In My Soup" but are unsure, it really isn't a bad watch just don't expect too much out of it.

Positive things:
- Overall is a well made movie.
- While it may not be as shocking as it is hyped up to be, it is still a rather unpleasent story.
Negative things:
- The torture scenes are cut to short.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 2.5/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0/5

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