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

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 and the consistent references to other, more superior, horror films 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.”

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. While Lee Beom-soo attempts to make the film compelling, and the late introduction of key cultural themes try to elevate the film, 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, better known as the Jeong brothers. 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 from superior examples of the genre. Epitaph is a solid, though unremarkable, addition to the K-horror canon.”

Ghastly (기생령)

Ghastly (기생령)

Ghastly (기생령) – ★★☆☆☆

“Aside from the opening scene, Ghastly is an uninspired and generic example of horror filmmaking.  The severe lack of character depth, and the absence of any substantial tangible 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, and while he too exploits such traits he does so in a satirical postmodern fashion. While fans of the horror genre may find something to enjoy, 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 not only three of Korea’s top name directors in the form of Ryoo Seung-wan, Han Ji-seung and Kim Tae-yong, but also for serving as the opening film for the 15th Jeonju International Film Festival. 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 generic conventions, underpinned with a ghostly mystery. Due to the light-hearted tone the film is consistently entertaining, and the approach to serious social issues such as bullying is refreshing. Unfortunately such 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 as an agoraphobic shaman, make Mourning Grave an enjoyable addition to the K-horror canon.”

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 and 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 that, from start to finish, makes the film an entrancing and enthralling viewing experience. A Tale of Two Sisters is a fascinating journey of familial tension, teenage angst, and the supernatural and comes highly recommended.”

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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