MAD FATE is a mystery thriller from Hong Kong that works like a treat. I was extremely entertained by a story that features both a serial killer and a fortune teller trying desperately to help everyone around him. Screening at Fantasia 2023. Read our full Mad Fate movie review here!

MAD FATE is a new mystery thriller from Hong Kong. Amazing characters, a quirky story, and a brutal serial killer plot. It almost sounds like a few elements too many for one movie, but it works surprisingly well here. While this is from Hong Kong, I would encourage anyone who enjoys amazing South Korean genre movies to check this out.

At its core, this genre mix manages to surprise me again and again. It never gets too silly, which is what makes it all work. In fact, it gets dark and sad (desperately so) at times, which is an important element as it also deals with mental illness.

Continue reading our Mad Fate movie review below. The film is screening at Fantasia 2023.

No fate but what we make?

As any fan of the Terminator franchise will know, the whole “no fate but what we make” is a line from these movies. Hell, it’s the entire concept that you can change the future, but changing things in the present or even the past.

For Mad Fate, the person trying to change fate is a fortune teller named The Master (Gordon Lam). He does everything he can and utilizes the stars, feng shui, and everything else he can think of to change the bad fates of his clients. And himself, as it turns out, but the movie gets to this in good time.

When The Master crosses paths with the”born psychopath” Siu-tong (Lokman Yeung), he can tell that the young man is destined to murder. Using every trick in the book to change fate itself, the duo actually unites to achieve a change of fate. While Siu-tong is definitely feeling the desire to kill people, he does also want a normal life.

Unfortunately, a very active serial killer is already on the loose, and the duo also has to deal with him.

Also, the plot ends up dealing with big questions such as; Can you change your fate? Is fate even real? And exactly how many times can you change the direction of your fate?

Mad Fate – Review | Mystery Thriller | Fantasia

Both weirdly funny and extremely brutal

Mad Fate is a classic genre mix that manages to expertly weave familiar elements of both a crime story and a supernatural comedy. On the one hand, it really is madcap and even gets to be slapstick at times, but it holds back enough that the serial killer plot never becomes a joke.

In fact, the serial killer at work is really violent and as brutal as in the hardcore South Korean horror thrillers. So be ready for that as well!

As things keep evolving in the wrong direction, no matter what “magic” The Master tries to use, this Hong Kong film feels more and more like it’s delaying the inevitable. However, as long as you keep fighting, there is hope.

Our extremely unlikely duo moves around in a world of ever-stranger omens, signs, and visions. We’re constantly on the edge of complete psychic annihilation, which is only made worse by the veteran detective on their trail. He is convinced that our “born psychopath” is the active serial killer and completely misses opportunities to catch the real killer.

All of this results in the cosmic game of mad fate.

Hong Kong feature Mad Fate screened at Fantasia 2023.

The new Hong Kong genre hybrid premiered at the 2023 Berlinale [film festival in Berlin] and was chosen as the opening film of the 47th edition of the Hong Kong Film Festival. Having watched Mad Fate, I can easily see why this is perfect as an opening film.


We also reviewed the movie Legally Declared Dead from Hong Kong >

Not only does the genre mix work like a treat, but the overall movie is also extremely entertaining. Also, I love that it doesn’t try to copy the style of other movies, but stays very much in Hong Kong in every way. The characters, the culture, the environment. Everything is very much Hong Kong and it works so very well due to this.

Hong Kong director Soi Cheang (Accident, Motorway, Limbo) is once again collaborating with Johnnie To and screenwriter Yau Nai-Hoi (of Running on Karma, Blind Detective). Hopefully, this will continue for a long time, as I cannot wait to see more from these filmmakers. Do not miss out on this one!

Mad Fate is screening at Fantasia 2023.


Director: Soi Cheang
Writers: Melvin Li, Nai-Hoi Yau
Cast: Gordon Lam, Lokman Yeung, Ting Yip Ng, Wing-Sze Ng


A fortune teller fails to help a prostitute who is facing a deadly calamity. When he meets a young boss of a tea restaurant, he predicts that his bloodthirsty tendencies will lead him to a prison sentence for murder. The fortune teller tries to change the young man’s fate. An experienced detective believes the young man is a psychopathic killer and relentlessly pursues him after witnessing him kill a cat. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, signifying the approach of the inevitable calamity.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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