The Tenants Downstairs
Dirs. Adam Tsui
In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles
The biggest and most talked-about Taiwanese film of 2016, director Adam Tsuei and writer Giddens Ko’s The Tenants Downstairs is a challenging and daring exploration of the dark side of human nature. The film stars legendary Hong Kong actor Simon Yam as the landlord of a panopticon-like apartment building, whose tenants he has specifically chosen for their different kinds of sexual deviancy, observing them through a network of surveillance cameras and taking great pleasure from spying on their intimate moments and weaknesses. Spurred on by a sadistic young woman (Ivy Shao), he soon finds that merely watching isn’t enough, and he starts to manipulate them, bringing out the very worst in their natures and playing them off against each other, resulting in escalating violence and depravity. Visually impressive and directed with stylish flair by Adam Tsuei, The Tenants Downstairs is both shocking and sharply comic, a bold mystery thriller filled with twists, turns and perverse surprises.