Here you will find reviews of Korean horror films. Please click on the picture, and you will be taken to the review.

12 Deep Red Nights

12 Deep Red Nights

12 Deep Red Nights : Chapter One (십이야 : 깊고 붉은 열두 개의 밤) – ★★☆☆☆

“Depicting four tales of nightly horror, omnibus 12 Deep Red Nights: Chapter 1 is a competent yet uninspiring addition to director Oh In-cheon’s filmography. The anthology serves more akin to a practice run for future endeavours rather than an inventive take on the genre.”

Bedevilled (김복남 살인사건의 전말)

Bedevilled (김복남 살인사건의 전말)

Bedevilled (김복남 살인사건의 전말) – ★★★★☆

Bedevilled is a brilliantly entertaining debut by director Jang Cheol-soo. The success of the film lies in the way the narrative seamlessly merges a socially-conscious, feminist drama with popular horror/thriller generic conventions. Featuring a wonderful performance by Seo Yeong-hee, Bedevilled is a fantastically entertaining film that leaves a strong and lasting impression.”

The Cat (고양이: 죽음을 보는 두 개의 눈)

The Cat (고양이: 죽음을 보는 두 개의 눈)

The Cat (고양이: 죽음을 보는 두 개의 눈) – ★★★☆☆

“While competently made, The Cat does not belong with premier examples of the genre. Attempts have clearly been made to construct depth through the inclusion of a leading protagonist with neurosis, yet the lack of development detracts from the overall experience. While the unease of horror is unlikely to linger after the credits, the fast-paced quick thrills make the film an entertaining experience.”

The Chosen: Forbidden Cave (퇴마: 무녀굴)

The Chosen: Forbidden Cave (퇴마: 무녀굴)

The Chosen: Forbidden Cave (퇴마: 무녀굴) – ★★☆☆☆

“Aside from a solid premise and the occasional well-constructed horror sequence, The Chosen: Forbidden Cave is a big misstep from director Kim Hwi. The events and characters within the film appear and recede indiscriminately throughout the haphazard narrative while any sort of development is a rarity. The Chosen is a frustratingly bland addition to the K-horror scene.”

Death Bell (고死: 피의 중간고사)

Death Bell (고死: 피의 중간고사)

Death Bell (고死: 피의 중간고사) – ★☆☆☆☆

Death Bell is a dull, vacuous horror film that attempts to be ‘Saw in a high school’ but is ultimately a bland excuse to depict torture porn on teenagers. Hindering the scares further are the kinetic camera movements and editing that continually frustrate. Death Bell is a hollow, soulless example of the genre and is for enthusiasts only.”

Epitaph (기담)

Epitaph (기담)

Epitaph (기담) – ★★★☆☆

Epitaph is a competent and visually attractive horror film by directors Jeong Beom-sik and Jeong Sik. The omnibus film features three tales that are generally unsettling rather than frightening, largely due to the haphazard narrative structure and employment of cliched tropes. Epitaph is a solid, though unremarkable, addition to the K-horror canon.”

Ghastly (기생령)

Ghastly (기생령)

Ghastly (기생령) – ★☆☆☆☆

Ghastly is an uninspired and generic example of horror filmmaking.  The severe lack of character depth, and the absence of any threat, vastly reduces the effectiveness of the danger that actually takes place. The level of misogyny is also appalling as the female protagonists are the cause of events, fetishised and beaten. There are far superior Korean horror films available.”

Horror Stories (무서운 이야기)

Horror Stories (무서운 이야기)

Horror Stories (무서운 이야기) – ★★☆☆☆

Horror Stories is a mixed effort. While context is provided for each director to exhibit their creative prowess, the reliance on stereotypes, contrivances and predictable pleasures results in general apathy rather than scares. Only Jeong Beom-sik’s Sun and Moon deviates from this trend. Horror Stories ultimately lacks the scares that the title so promisingly implies.”

MAD SAD BAD (신촌좀비만화)

MAD SAD BAD (신촌좀비만화)

MAD SAD BAD (신촌좀비만화) – ★★★☆☆

Omnibus film MAD SAD BAD has the notable distinction of featuring three of Korea’s top name directors in the form of Ryoo Seung-wan, Han Ji-seung and Kim Tae-yong. The collective work is quite a landmark for an opening film due to the use of 3D, which is, in part, used to emphasis the new vision and production role of KAFA+ (The Korean Academy of Film Arts).”

Mourning Grave (소녀괴담)

Mourning Grave (소녀괴담)

Mourning Grave (소녀괴담) – ★★★☆☆

Mourning Grave is billed as a horror film, yet in truth director Oh In-cheon’s directorial debut actually encompasses an array of genres. Unfortunately themes aren’t explored fully thanks to the vignette storytelling style, yet the endearing central couple, and a show stealing performance by Kim Jeong-tae, make Mourning Grave an enjoyable addition to the K-horror canon.”

Possessed (불신지옥)

Possessed (불신지옥)

Possessed (불신지옥) – ★★★☆☆

Possessed is an impressive K-horror by debut director Lee Yong-joo, who uses his tight budget highly effectively to craft a suspense-filled tale of intrigue about a missing girl. Employing claustrophobic environs and a story that examines the frightening religious fervour within communities, Possessed is a chilling delight.”

A Tale of Two Sisters (장화, 홍련)

A Tale of Two Sisters (장화, 홍련)

A Tale of Two Sisters (장화, 홍련) – ★★★★☆

A Tale of Two Sisters is an incredibly detailed, psychological horror that ranks among the upper echelons of the genre. Writer/director Kim Ji-woon plants enough red herrings and twists amongst his superb use of mise-en-scene to make the film an entrancing viewing experience. A Tale of Two Sisters is a fascinating horror and comes highly recommended.”

A Blood Pledge (여고괴담 5: 동반자살)

A Blood Pledge (여고괴담 5: 동반자살)

Whispering Corridors 5: A Blood Pledge (여고괴담 5: 동반자살) – ★★☆☆☆

A Blood Pledge by writer/director Lee Jong-yong is easily the weakest in the franchise. While aspects of female high school relationships are alluded to, the poor script, bland directing and cringeworthy scenes of horror alongside a confusing timeline structure make it one for K-horror aficionados only.”

White: The Melody of the Curse (화이트: 저주의 멜로디)

White: The Melody of the Curse (화이트: 저주의 멜로디)

White: The Melody of the Curse (화이트: 저주의 멜로디) – ★★☆☆☆

“White: The Melody of the Curse certainly deserves credit for attempting to emphasize some of the hardships endured by those in the world of celebrity. However, the superficial portrayal of such prime material, and the decision to employ quick thrills as opposed to suspense-fueled psychoanalytic horror, results in a shallow viewing experience.”

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