The Sleep Curse

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The Sleep Curse
Directed byHerman Yau
Produced by
  • Albert Lee
  • Jason Siu
  • Yao Qinyi[1]
Screenplay by
  • Erica Li
  • Eric Lee[1]
CinematographyJoe Chan[1]
Edited byAzrael Chung[1]
  • Emperor Film Production Limited
  • Stellar Mega Films Limited[1]
Release date
  • 2017 (2017) (HKIFF)
  • 18 May 2017 (2017-05-18) (Hong Kong)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
  • Cantonese
  • Japanese
  • Malay[1]

The Sleep Curse is a Hong Kong horror film directed by Herman Yau. The film goes back and forth between 1942 and 1990 between a family, with neuroscientist Lam Sik-ka (Anthony Wong) and his father Lam Sing (also by Wong) who was a translator for the Japanese occupational forces in Hong Kong. Sing has hid that in his past, he did not save a comfort woman (Michelle Wai) from persecution by the occupiers. Sik-ka learns later learns that his father's death was due to a curse applied by this woman and will eventually also haunt him.

Wong announced that The Sleep Curse would be his last performance in horror and thriller films, stating he no longer enjoyed making them.[2]


At the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Erica Li spoke about the themes of the film, stating that the film was to "speak for the women, [...] Especially for those who cannot speak for themselves, like the victims of the war. This topic was trying to tell the world that some justice is still undone."[3]


The Sleep Curse had its premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2017.[1] It had a wide release in Hong Kong on May 18, 2017.[3]


The Hollywood Reporter compared the film to director Herman Yau and Anthony Wong's previous collaborations The Untold Story and The Ebola Syndrome, stating that "There may be no way for the film's director and star to regenerate the manic energy and social fury that made The Untold Story and The Ebola Syndrome such genre-benders more than two decades ago." noting Wong strives for depth in the role, while Yau "struggles to rein in all the sprawling elements — the nondimensional characters, the visceral violence, Brother Hung's bombastic music — into a tight, coherent movie."[1] The South China Morning Post gave the film a two and a half star rating out of five, noting the screenwriters placed "excessively long flashbacks to explain the origin of the curse" and that "The film only snaps back to life with an avalanche of decapitation, mutilation and cannibalism in its last reel. For those expecting a gory good time throughout, as in Yau’s extreme horror classics from the ’90s, that is too little, too late."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tsui, Clarence (April 21, 2017). "'The Sleep Curse' ('Sut Min'): Film Review Hong Kong 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Hsia, Heidi (May 8, 2017). "Anthony Wong: "The Sleep Curse" is my last horror film!". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Arita, Megumi (May 9, 2017). "The Sleep Curse is not just about revenge". Asia Times. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Lee, Edmund (17 May 2017). "Film review: The Sleep Curse – Anthony Wong, Herman Yau reunite for grotesque horror that made them cult movie heroes". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 16 January 2018.

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