It Remains is a 2023 Hong Kong supernatural horror film, directed by Kelvin Shum. Kelvin started his directing career with a number of short films such as Devils Lure (2015), What Remains (2016), and The Exchange (2017), before moving on to his first feature-length title Deliverance (2022).

Finn embarks on an island adventure with his friends in an attempt to overcome a haunting tragedy, but this journey into the wilderness takes a terrifying turn. They begin to suffer from frightening dreams and come upon strange artifacts on this strange island, it’s not long before they realize that an ancient evil exists and stalks them at every turn. What awaits them are things they never expect out of this supposedly serene trip.


It Remains 2023 Hong Kong Horror

Beginning with a creative introduction to the narrative, It Remains forgoes a standard info dump of the main plot points on the audience in its emergence. Instead, the film implements an ethereal, dream-like sequence full of beautiful cinematography and intricate editing to construct a visually stunning yet concise introduction. With a heavy focus on loss, regret, dependency, and revenge, the story weaves an incredibly solemn tale that takes full advantage of generalised shared trauma to be both powerful and relatable. While our main protagonist’s anguish stems from alternating experiences, they all share the negative effects of erroneously processing said grief.

However, while the story features methodical pacing throughout, the film’s writing is noticeably weak at points. While the film’s second act is a competent display of supernatural horror and hallucinatory insanity, the first and third act features somewhat stilted character depth outside of their trauma—at times, feeling two-dimensional. Despite this, this is hardly detrimental to the film as a whole.


Featuring a plethora of differing styles and techniques, the cinematography in It Remains is one of its strongest features. The likes of alluring boom tilts, dolly pans, and ariel drone shots, when twinned with stylish editing produce a visually stunning piece of cinema. Moreover, the use of lighting and manipulation of darkness create an eerie stage on which this supernatural story unfolds. The vast shadows transform enclosed locations into environments of deeper dread.

With amazing performances from Chu Pak Hong, Ng Siu Hin, Lam Yiu Sing, and Kwok Chui Yee, their congenial delivery of guilt and woe is certainly one of the film’s driving forces. Although the actors don’t have much to their characters outside of their trauma, they all give their respective performances a cordially somber rendition of grief.


Evocative and perturbed, It Remains is an unsettling projection of family trauma and emotional suppression expertly presented within a haunting, supernatural narrative. With an astonishingly artistic level of cinematography, standout performances from the entire cast, and spine-chilling supernatural scares, the film is certainly a return to form for Hong Kong horror.


It Remains (2023) will premiere in the UK on Oct. 28th

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