Photos: Alvin Teo
What’s scarier than the MRT crowd at rush hour, sky-high surge prices on ride-hailing apps, or inconsiderate PMD (personal mobility device) riders?
Just ask the protagonists of upcoming horror anthology movie Late Night Ride. The Koh Chong Wu-directed flick revolves around three individuals who have supernatural encounters on three different modes of transport, and begins filming today (Aug 15) - right in the middle of the Hungry Ghost Festival.
One tale involves a young influencer (played by Jayley Woo) who gets trapped in a mysterious realm after indirectly causing a car crash; another centres on a rideshare driver (played by Lina Ng) who finds herself being haunted while on the job; and in the third, dark secrets are revealed to a father (played by Andie Chen) and his son on the bus.
At the lensing ceremony last week, Chong Wu revealed that talking to Grab drivers with scary stories inspired him to make the original Late Night Ride short film in 2017. This time, the picture is longer, more star-studded, has a meatier budget (S$1 million, to be exact), and is backed by two major production companies (Clover Films and mm2 Entertainment).
While this will be Lina’s and Andie’s first time working on a horror film, Jayley is no stranger to the genre, having starred in Ghost Child in 2013.
The 27-year-old actress is also the only one among the three who claims to have had brushes with paranormal activity. “Basically, I can feel things, but not see them,” she told us.
One experience she had happened a long time ago when she was still a student who took the bus regularly. “I was going home and wanted to be cool, so I sat way at the back where I would have my own space,” she recalled. “Then suddenly, I felt this vibe that something was following me back home [even though I was alone].”
Whatever that “something” was stopped Jayley from sleeping well over the next few nights and made her very lethargic during the day. When we asked if she ever found out more, she made a long, hesitant sound (as if to say “why would I want to know?”) and shared that she just ignored it until things went back to normal (although she did stop sitting at the back when travelling by herself at night).
Another incident occurred on the set of Ghost Child. “I was filming a crying scene in a mansion, and while I’m usually able to control my emotions quite well, I couldn’t stop crying for 15 minutes. It was only when [Chen] Hanwei da ge asked me to turn around and face the wall that I managed to calm myself down.”
Because of this, we weren’t surprised to hear that Jayley is extra careful not to offend any, erm, presences around her. “During the seventh month, you shouldn’t simply swear or joke around. My dad has also told me that if you accidentally kick a stone or hit a tree, you should apologise to it because he believes everything has a spirit that shouldn’t be disturbed.”
Well, it is better to be safe than sorry, after all.
Andie, on the other hand, is neither religious nor superstitious, but even he would rather err on the side of caution, especially since he has two young children at home.
“I usually sleep with Aden and Avery, so when we’re filming during the Hungry Ghost Festival, I will bathe in mugwort-infused water before going to bed with them,” he shared, adding that his wife, actress Kate Pang, is the one who buys the herb for him.
On a more practical note, the 34-year-old actor will also be diligently taking care of his health so that his energy levels remain high, leaving him less susceptible to sickness (and… other things, we reckon).
“I have no idea what to expect because this is a brand new experience for me, and while I’m not looking forward to the lonely drives home and overnight shoots, I’m going to commit myself fully to this project and hopefully, I’ll have a lot of good experiences and no not-so-welcome ones,” he chuckled.
Late Night Ride is slated for release in the second quarter of 2020.