!!!WARNING. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
Wade Chen(Bryant Chang) struggles to hold down his job driving rich executives round town. He catches company President Yang(Jerry Huang) having sex with a famous magazine model in the back of the car, but Yang tells him everything is good and to buy his silence, Yang gives Wade an invitation to an exclusive party. The back of the invitation card invites the guest to write down their greatest wish.
Wade cannot believe his luck when he arrives at the party. Not only does he get lucky with the very same magazine model that he caught Yang with, he also wins big on the roulette wheel and finds out he's one of five inductees who have been granted membership into the mysterious Mr Warren's circle. All five are taken to one side and told their greatest wishes are about to come true. It soon becomes apparent however, that the five unsuspecting guests are part of someone elses twisted wish fulfilment fantasy,as one by one they are hunted down by a masked killer.
This slick and twisted Taiwanese slasher does take a little while to get going but once it does it stays in first gear for the rest of its duration. Lulling viewers into a false sense of security, at the half hour mark it suddenly presents its audience with a brutal slaying and from then on things get very bloody indeed, with a couple of quite extreme set pieces that made me wince a little.
Okay, the film is hardly original, taking its inspiration from Western horrors such as Hostel, Vacancy and the Saw fanchise. It does, however, have enough wit and invention of its own to sustain interest.
Bryant Chang is very likeable as the male lead, the character of Wade finding hidden strengths in the terrible situation he finds himself in. Julianne Chu also impresses as the spunky heroine, using great ingenuity to plan her escape from her tormentors.
There are a few holes in the plot, but the central theme of a group of rich thrillseekers eliminating the undesirable poor from society is put across very well. This makes it all the better, when Wade finally turns the tables on his torturers. It does run out of steam in the last few minutes, but up until then it provides plenty of splatter and nice little twists and turns.
A very enjoyable horror/thriller, adeptly directed by Kevin Ko. 4 out of 5