30th June 2013
Horror Stories 2– 무서운이야기 2– directed by Kim Seong-ho, Kim Hwi, Jeong Beom-shik, and Min Gyu-dong. Starring Seong Joon, Lee Soo-hyeok, Baek Jin-hee, Kim Seul-ki, and Jeong In-seon. –96 minutes–Release date: June 5, 2013.
I am amazed at how quickly my internet TV provider gets ahold of movies these days. Horror Stories 2 was released at the beginning of the month and just three weeks later it is on tv. Of course there are some drawbacks to this speedy service. One is that I rarely take the trip into town to watch movies anymore.. a drawback because I am afraid I am turning into a homebody. The other drawback is that it costs slightly more to watch new movies on tv than in the theater..It is 10,000 KRW instead of the usual 7-8,ooo KRW.. Of course, it is more cost efficient if I factor in gasoline or bus fare. and if you watch it with someone, then it is definitely a savings.
I watched this movie alone… it is the only way to see horror movies and get the full impact.
Because this movie is so new, I am not going to give any information about the plot. I will only mention my feelings about each chapter of the film.
Horror Stories 2 consists of three main tales encompassed by a framing story. The first story, in my opinion was the scariest. It was titled The Cliff.. well..that is a translation of the title anyway, I did not see it with subtitles. I will not give away spoilers about the plot at all. I just want to say that it was expertly crafted and acted by the two leads. I did not like the acting of the brother of one of the climbers, but it was a small role so there is no real problem. Tension and suspense build in this short for excellent effect. I just wish that slow, steady build had been maintained until the end. The final scene is rushed and should not have been.
The second story, The Accident, was my least favorite.. not because of any major faults in directing or acting.. but because it was too predictable. I knew what was happening and what was going to happen about thirty seconds into the story. There have been too many horror movies with the same set up. While it does have a few good scenes, it never really frightened me.
The same is not true for the third story, Escape. About five minutes into the tale, I thought that I was going to hate it. It looked like more of acomedy than a horror film, which isn’t always bad, but the comedy was quite childish and much of it even relied on bathroom humor. However, the movie went in a direction I had not seen before and, while it retained a comedy feel about it, it became more of a black comedy. .. and parts of this film were genuinely terrifying. Of all the stories, this is the one I thought about when I was nervously trying to get to sleep last night. (I wound up closing the opaque sliding window in the master bedroom that looks out on the veranda– when you watch this movie, you will know why). It is not perfect because of the comedy, but I appreciated the originality of the film.
The framing tale, 444, was hastily thrown together I think and is not meant to be really frightening. It serves its purpose in setting up each story, but it fails as a story in its own right. Again, I don’t blame the director in this case. The structure of the film fails this story as it has to be broken up to introduce the other, longer chapters. So when the twist is thrown in, it comes out of left field and feels quite unneccessary.
I am satisfied that I liked two out of four stories in this film.. especially since the two films that I liked really managed to create feelings of dread and/or terror in me that I want to experience when watching a horror movie.