Rule #1 第一诫

Rule #1

Every day, the Police Force receives 185 phone calls.

180 of them are about burglaries, murders, rapes and kidnappings.

The remaining 5 begin with: “There is something strange in my house, can you please send someone over to take a look?”

For rookie Sergeant Lee (Shawn Yu), being a cop means running down crooks and upholding the law. Injured in a shoot-out, he finds out to his horror that he is reassigned to the dubious-sounding Miscellaneous Affairs Department (MAD).

There, he is paired up with Inspector Wong (Ekin Cheng), a jaded and alcoholic veteran who explains that MAD’s role is to answer supernatural calls.

A swimming pool caretaker calls the Police about strange noises at his workplace. Lee and Wong are dispatched to the scene. Lee seems to be on the brink of uncovering something sinister when Wong traces the source of the ghastly noise–a clogged-up water pump.

Putting Lee down, Wong explains MAD’s rule number one–There are no ghosts.

For every seemingly-inexplicable phenomenon, there is a corresponding scientific and rational explanation.

When Lee and Wong arrive at a nursing home to investigate a bizarre TV that keeps turning itself on and off, the veteran cop immediately uncovers the culprit. A man in the opposite apartment is channel-surfing with a remote control that is of the same brand as the TV in the nursing home.

Unconvinced by Wong’s easy explanations, Lee investigates on his own and finds himself confronted by the impossible. At the swimming pool, he is haunted by the ghost of a young girl who had drowned there. At the nursing home, he encounters the spirit of an old woman who enjoyed watching TV before she passed away.

Confronted by Lee, Wong reveals the true mission of MAD. When members of the public call the Police about strange noises or ghostly shadows, MAD shows up and reassures the complainants with scientific and rational explanations. The truth must never be known or else society will descend into chaos.

A firm believer of truth and justice, Lee cannot reconcile himself to MAD’s shady practices. As he rebels against the system, the young cop realizes that there is a grain of truth in Wong’s advice.

Slowly, Lee is sucked into a world of deceit and cover-ups. His relationship with his girlfriend May (Fiona Xie) suffers as MAD begins investigating a string of bizarre teenage suicides.

A girl is found to have hung herself from a height of five feet.

Another girl is discovered to have drowned herself in a fish tank.

Impossible suicides. Unless, the victims were possessed.

As Lee and Wong follow the clues, they realize that something sinister is heading their way.

A serial killer who was shot by Lee before his reassignment to MAD is back–as a ghost. He is moving from girl to girl, leaving a grisly trail of carnage in his wake.

While Lee doggedly pursues this ancient feud, Wong has second thoughts about his flagging career at MAD. The veteran hooks up with his former wife Esther (Stephanie Che) and makes plans to quit the force.

On Wong’s last day, Lee tracks the serial killer’s ghost down to a warehouse. A showdown ensues–in which nobody is let off.




It started with a simple what if.

What if there are ghosts and the Police know about it? Do they then tell the truth or do they lie? Therein lies the premise of Rule #1.

I wanted a film that explored the spectrum between black and white. I was interested in making a film that is gray. With Rule #1, I was able to achieve that with a storyline that was about two cops confronted by the supernatural and their subsequent struggle to reconcile their awful knowledge with their mission to serve and protect the public. In other words, to really protect the innocent, do you tell them that there is a ghost in their apartment or do you lie and blame the strange noises on a faulty water pipe?

Rule #1 is a horror-thriller about cops. There are no helpless female victims here. Instead, the prey are policemen who, despite possessing guns, find themselves at their wits’ end when confronted by bloodthirsty ghouls and spirits.

Rule #1 takes place in an unnamed Asian city and tells the story about two cops-a rookie and veteran. As the body-count rises and our two protagonists find themselves ankle-deep in blood, themes of bonding, faith, heroism and betrayal are explored.

As good battles evil, the line is drawn somewhere between the truth and lies. This is no man’s land. This is gray.




Filmed entirely in Hong Kong, Kelvin Tong’s horror-thriller Rule #1 took in locations around the atmospheric city. Iconic landmarks such as Lingnan University, Hong Kong Plaza in Causeway Bay, a romantic beach-side bar in Repulse Bay and a disused water-filtration plant in Stanley which was featured in many Johnnie To films, served as the US$ 2 million movie’s locales. Principal photography began in 6 September 2007 and lasted for 19 days.

Offline post-production was completed at China Star Production Services Ltd while Cinedigit Sound Ltd handled the audio work. Music scoring was undertaken in Singapore and integrated into the film’s final dolby mix in Hong Kong. Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Ltd produced the final prints of Rule #1.


Check out some interesting comments on movie here…

1. by danny yeo
2. on
3. on
4. on

~ by kelvintong on March 13, 2008.

18 Responses to “Rule #1 第一诫”

  1. thanks for the plug =)

  2. Hi,
    May I ask when will this movie be out on DVD?

  3. Hey Kelvin….Wallace here..Interviewed you on radio a couple of months ago….Doubt you remember me…keke. Anyway, just dropped by to let you know that I enjoyed the movie!

  4. Hi Wallace. Thank you so much for your support! Really appreciate it.

  5. Hi Kelvin! Saw your link from OMY. Feel good to leave a comment here 😀 Have a nice day!

  6. I missed Rule#1 at the cinemas. Any idea when the DVD will be realised? Looking forward for that

  7. For anyone who’s interested… The dvd for Rule #1 will only be out maybe 2-3 months from now. It’s currently showing in cinemas in Hong Kong.

  8. very interesting plot. what unexpected twist! i like how the show started and ended. it’s very enlightening. : >

  9. Hi, I was searching for some info on Rule #1 and found my way here.

    Just watched Rule #1 & wanted to say…

    First of all, Rule #1 had an awesome cast!
    Fiona & Shawn made a really handsome couple! Shawn is a damn good actor!! I was so convinced by the look of his fear that I am too afraid to watch some of the scenes. -__-||| I didn’t quite notice Shawn until you guys made him look so HOT in Rule #1.

    Fiona’s first attempt in a horror movie is commendable too, esp the scene where she took the bloody foetus and exclaimed it’s a boy! Didn’t know she can look so frightening!

    Secondly, I was caught by the twist in the plot. There were many “whys” initially but when the plot unfolds, I begin to get all the answers to the “whys”. And the part where Shawn told Fiona not to choke the drainage with hair. Geez, I was emotionally affected as my hubby told me the same thing before.

    Thirdly, I agree with this Rule #1. I believe in the police force, this is really the implied rule. Everything must come with evidence/science.

    The only thing I didn’t quite like is the ending. =P It’s so sad! I wished he could have just killed the police woman right there and then! My heart really goes out to the character Fiona is acting when she teared.

    All in all, I really like Rule #1. The work has improved so much from The Maid (which I have watched as well; also scared the hell out of me).

    Looking forward to your future projects.


  10. I’m so glad to find some form of a discussion on the web! I really enjoyed the movie and the direction was beautiful. There were a couple of scenes that was really well put together.

    There’s this English song that was played in Shawn Yue’s apartment (I think it was in the ending scene too) – can I know what’s the name of the title and the artist? I didn’t think I caught it in the ending credits. Thanks in advance.

  11. great movie, just wondering, where can i find the complete music list used for the movie? Some of them are pretty good, thank you

  12. Dear all,

    Thank you so much for your kind support. We’re so appreciative of all your encouraging comments. Just to let you guys know that all the music are composed by our brilliant composer Joe Ng for the movie so you won’t be able to find it in stores. At the moment there is no arrangement for producing a soundtrack but we’ll look into that possibility. Kelvin is currently writing for another movie next year. So look out for it.

    Replying on behalf of Kelvin,
    Kat Goh (Assistant Director)

  13. By the way… Rule #1 is out in stores now… 🙂

  14. does this film has any sexually 18++ scene? Because I am thinking of watching it with my young brother and sister. Wouldn’t be appropriate if there is one… please advise … Thank you!!

  15. Hi Erica,

    There is one mild sexual scene at the very end of the movie. “Rule #1” is NC16 mainly because of the blood and the theme of young teenage girls committing suicide. Not because of the sexual element. How young is your brother and sister?

    Replying on behalf of Kelvin,
    Kat Goh (Assistant Director)

  16. BOUGHT the movie (no downloading) and thoroughly enjoyed it, was entranced by that song that kept repeating throughout the movie. So what’s next on the cards? Any hints??

    Been a very long time since law school yah?

  17. That’s great movies.Can you tell me which music Lee play the disc when he come in the room, at the end of film ?

  18. Hey Leon, Kidnapper is out in cinemas now! Please catch it!! 🙂

    Hi Way, the music was composed by our very own music composer and sang by Alberta who’s a local singer with her own band.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: