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Alessandra de Rossi,
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The cellist and teacher Mi-Ju Hong is invited by her colleague and friend Sun-Ae to assume the position of professor in her renowned institution, and gives an invitation to the concert of Hae-Young Kim, the little sister of her former school best friend Tae-Yeon Kim who died in a car accident. Before leaving the building, she is threatened by a former student that failed in her test. While driving home, she escapes from an accident on the road and once at home, she has a surprise birthday party with her husband and prosecutor Jun-Ki, her daughters the slow Yoon-Jin and the young Yoon-Hye Song, and her sister-in-law Kyung Ran, whose fiancée is in Manhattan in a MBA course. On the next morning, her husband hires the dumb housekeeper Ji-Sook, a very weird woman. While shopping with Yoon-Jin, the girl is fascinated in a cello and Mi-Ju buys the instrument. After the mysterious death of her dog Sunny, creepy events happen with Mi-Ju, jeopardizing her family, while she insistently listens ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An impressive horror from South Korea, this is yet another supernatural tale and another movie containing a number of effectively creepy moments that should please fans who are turning to our Asian friends more and more recently for the high standard of horror movies being provided.
Hyeon-a Seong plays Hong Mi-ju, a young woman who finds herself with a troubled mind (wouldn't you just know it) and some memories that refuse to remain just memories. It all seems to be linked with a cello and many things start to happen around her eldest daughter Yoon-Jin, a young girl with learning difficulties. And there are other things going on like a resentful student who has been given a low grade by Hong, a car accident that brings to Hong's mind another car accident and the slow but steady unravelling of the family unit.
Many of the Asian horrors that I have seen, and constantly try to see, fall into two categories. There are the extreme, gore-filled slices of craziness and there are the more traditional, almost comfortable, spooky movies that remind me of reading works from M.R. James and other masterful literary talents. This movie falls most definitely in the latter category. It does have a familiarity to it, in many respects, but also achieves a great atmosphere and sense of creepiness throughout with one or two standout moments dotted amongst the more sedate chills.
It's also a damn fine psychological horror, rather ambiguous in places and open to interpretation to each individual viewer (although my personal favourite reading of events is one often disregarded and I can happily accept other ways of interpreting them).
The acting, as is so often the case from this particular part of the world, is great, the script is decent and nicely constructed to create maximum significance for each twist, turn and/or revelation and while the design and look of the thing may be a little unimaginative there's really nothing wrong with complimenting this as simply an enjoyable, solid horror movie.
Oh, one final word of warning: some people may loathe the ending. I didn't but I have heard others complain about it so thought it should be mentioned as a possible stumbling block.
See this if you like: Audition, Coming Soon, A Tale Of Two Sisters.
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