Director: Lee Woo-cheol
I felt impatient with this Korean horror film
at times but I still kept watching because it was just different enough and
strange enough to suck me in. There are some creepy moments that had me wondering
why I was watching this at 2:30 a.m and it is filled with quiet dread that
creeps towards you like a dying mewing cat. This is the kind of thing that
tends to invade my dreams. Maybe time to make a sandwich instead of going
The film poses an interesting question that is never answered - how much
of what is taking place is real or is it the delusions of insanity and guilt.
Even at the end you can't be sure. I like that uncertainty. A theme
that runs through it is the inability to communicate within this in theory
respectable nuclear family. Communication is muted or literally mute and
later you suspect why. On the first run through it may just seem like another
ghost story but is it even a ghost story. This is the only film the director
Lee Woo-cheol made. I have to wonder why.
The main protagonist is Mi-ju (Sung Hyun-Ah) who is a cello instructor at
University. From the beginning she comes across as cold and detached and
her reliance on pills to calm her down spells trouble down the road. At home
she has a husband who is too busy, a daughter who can't speak and never smiles,
another little girl who is a doll, the sister of her husband and they take
on a housekeeper who can't speak because she swallowed acid to kill herself.
Ghostly things begin to happen - small things at first - then the dog is
killed and it gets worse. As the possible backstory unfolds you realize that
Mi-ju may be guilty of some terrible past action but is it guilt that is
creating these apparitions or is someone looking for revenge. Is she even
awake or in a coma. Is it all a nightmare? Is it an endless cycle on the
karmic wheel? I guess we will never know.
Better than I expected going in. I thought this would be about a possessed
cello that murdered people with its strings. Certainly, listening to solo
cello music for long can kill you, but the cellos in this film are perfectly
innocent though I can't say no cellos were injured in the making of the film.