A thousand years ago, an evil spirit was kept imprisoned in a lake by the first emperor of the Chilla empire. Now unleashed, it possesses the body of Ja Woon-bi, the wife of general ...
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A thousand years ago, an evil spirit was kept imprisoned in a lake by the first emperor of the Chilla empire. Now unleashed, it possesses the body of Ja Woon-bi, the wife of general Biharang, with the aim to bring down the very dynasty that destroyed his people. Biharang is torn; to kill the spirit, he has to also kill his wife. Written by
The first king of the Silla kingdom united the various Korean tribes under his iron fist through the use of superior technology and tactics. One of those tribes was led by a sorcerous chief, who was imprisoned within a lake by the Silla king after he had sworn vengeance against him for the destruction wreaked upon the tribe. A thousand years pass and stories become legends, legends become myths, yada yada. Now the Silla kingdom has stood for almost a millennia, but once again it's threatened both from within and by outsiders.
The biggest problem with this film is the fact that it doesn't invest its viewers. None of the characters are given proper personalities beyond their general archetypes, for one. The main character is a skilled general, and that's about it. His intended is the intended, and that's about it. The lovelorn empress is the lovelorn empress. There are some additional touches, like the fact that the main character is apparently of lower birth, but they don't really add all that much to the story.
The story is riddled with clichés and is also baffling in details. For example, the title of the movie is The Legend of the Evil Lake. Emphasis on the word 'evil'. Yet, the very first scene shows us the chief imprisoned within the lake simply because he had issues with his tribe being taken over by the Silla king. Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm with the chief on this one. Down with the Silla kingdom! Which makes watching the movie a touch aggravating when it so clearly assumes we're on the Silla side of the conflict.
Aside from all that, it's not really a bad movie. The fight scenes are nice, the locations are gorgeous, the clothing, make-up and all that stuff works really well, and as a whole it's simply an okay Asian fantasy/horror film. If only the story had been even halfway decent this might have amounted to something.
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