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Old 11-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
Mok
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A bunch of Korean horror, rated.

I went on an Asian horror cinema kick this past Halloween. I'm just finishing "The Wig" right now. These are all South Korean as far as I know. Watching all these I've become quite familiar with the recipe these movies all adhere to. Some of the execute it better than others. Most of these aren't that great, but I figured for all the time I put in, I should throw out my (spoiler-free) opinion on these:

Bunshinsawa - 5/10 - This one is pretty middle of the road. It's got the classic elements of an asian ghost story but is just kind of "meh".

Cello - 7/10 - This one is pretty good. Interesting premise and nice direction.

Phone - 6/10 - There's a little girl in this one that could probably out-act anyone in Hollywood. The rest of the film is fairly good but not particularly great.

Whispering Corridors: Voice - 6/10 - The two school girls give good performances. The premise is interesting enough, but the movie kind of drags along. There are a bunch of these "Whispering Corridor" movies out there. I imagine they are targeted at teens the way Twilight is for North Americans.

The Wig - 8/10 - Best of the bunch. Really creepy for something with a relatively simple premise.

Doll Master - 4/10 - Really cheesy. Don't bother.

The Red Shoes - 7/10 - Great atmosphere. It becomes a little full of itself near the end, but solid for the most part.

Slit-Mouthed Woman - 5/10 - This is almost like a kids' movie. It takes place in the day for the most part. There are a lot of parts that don't make sense and it gets really hokey.

I also re-watched Ju-on: The Grudge(Japanese, I know, but in the same vein) recently. Non of these are particularly as good as that one is.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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I've seen the Red Shoes - I'd probably rate it about the same - good but not fantastically good.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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Recently watched Blood Rain on Netflix and while it's not technically a ghost film it's still worth mentioning. A good film that fans on this site should watch.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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I've seen a few of these and know what you mean by "recipe". Ultimately most of them are influenced by Ring. Other good ones in this vein are Tale of Two Sisters, Acacia and Face. There are many other South Korean horror movies which do not:

Thirst (vampire)
The Host (monster)
Bloody Reunion (slasher)
I Saw the Devil, The Chaser, Memories of Murder (serial killer)
Hansel and Gretel (fairy tale)
Chaw (comedic killer hog movie)
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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I've seen a few of these and know what you mean by "recipe"
Yeah, like if Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a South Korean film, it would be 30min longer and we would find out near the end via flashback montage that the girl they were torturing was Leatherface's twin sister who used to dress him up in women's clothes and tease him relentlessly.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:32 AM   #6
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Just curious is there any major difference between South Korean and Japanese horror? What I mean is that certain horror films from a country tend to have similar characteristics. i.e. American horror has a lot of boo scares, Italian horror tends to be less story driven and more atmospheric, Japanese horror tends to be more slow moving with crazy twists.

I have a tale of two sisters (need to finish it though) and seen the host so I was curious about style differences.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Whispering Corridors: Voice - 6/10 - The two school girls give good performances. The premise is interesting enough, but the movie kind of drags along. There are a bunch of these "Whispering Corridor" movies out there. I imagine they are targeted at teens the way Twilight is for North Americans.
You just watched the weakest film in the Whispering Corridors series IMO.

I can imagine why you say this movie drags, but you have to remind that this type of horror is not made to appeal to western public. Korean movies like these tend to tell the story very slowly because they center their actions more on the drama and lightly on the terror.

I thing is way wrong that you assume that the Whispering Corridors series is targeted at teens the way Twilight is for North Americans because they center on teens suicide rate with a strong reference on many korean teen taboos.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korngold View Post
Just curious is there any major difference between South Korean and Japanese horror? What I mean is that certain horror films from a country tend to have similar characteristics. i.e. American horror has a lot of boo scares, Italian horror tends to be less story driven and more atmospheric, Japanese horror tends to be more slow moving with crazy twists.

I have a tale of two sisters (need to finish it though) and seen the host so I was curious about style differences.
Korean horror tends to be more tragic. Actually, that's true of almost all Korean cinema. Hell, even their music videos. I like to say, "It's not a Korean movie until a main character dies". It's not uncommon for a movie to be an effort to save a character, and in the end, that character dies anyway. It keeps you on edge, as you never know which (if any) character will live to the end of the movie. But it can also be annoying. Like in a comedy and there's a crisis, I always think it's gonna end badly.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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Korean horror tends to be more tragic. Actually, that's true of almost all Korean cinema. Hell, even their music videos. I like to say, "It's not a Korean movie until a main character dies". It's not uncommon for a movie to be an effort to save a character, and in the end, that character dies anyway. It keeps you on edge, as you never know which (if any) character will live to the end of the movie. But it can also be annoying. Like in a comedy and there's a crisis, I always think it's gonna end badly.
On the spot...
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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I can imagine why you say this movie drags, but you have to remind that this type of horror is not made to appeal to western public.
I'm from Korea you asshole!

Just kidding. But seriously, you said yourself it's the weakest in the series. I don't think you can conclude it's because it wasn't made for western audiences. When I was deciding which Whispering Corridors film to watch, it seemed like this one was favored for some reason.

And to answer the question about Korean vs Japanese, one thing I would point out is that I find that Korean horror movies stay within a formula which sometimes attempt to be clever to a fault. It seems like the directors don't know how to end the movie because they're trying too hard to lead up to a profound moment of realization. That is a big part of that "formula" I was referring to. Japanese horror is a little more varied but I would venture to say it arguably stays within the formula that Korean horror abides by for the most part.

Of course all of those points are based off what I've seen so maybe I'm only exposed to a small amount.
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