Seen in Jeonju

Coma 4: Crimson Red (2005)

10th January 2010

coma 4Ha! Remember how I complained about how the pragmatic view of the policeman seemed to drag the story away from the supernatural. Well, this chapter brings the story back into the realm of ghosts with a vengeance. We are introduced to Hong-ah, an artist who sees visions of ghosts as part of her daily life. She wear headphones to avoid hearing them. She wears sunglasses and keeps her head down to avoid seeing them. But it is not enough. One particular ghost has been reaching out… her with the plea of “Kill me.”

Perhaps I should rephrase what I said earlier. We are not introduced to Hong-ah here. She was the crazy woman who warned the detective out of the hospital…a warning he ignored. She arrives at the hospital and begins wandering around the building allowing her sensitive nature to guide her. Spooky music follows her every move, but nothing reaches out to harm her..perhaps because she is the first one to come with good intentions towards So-hee.  Or perhaps it is because she was smart enough to come in the middle of the day…

To my absolute surprise, I learned that my theory about So-hee being Hye-yeong seems to be wrong. Hong-ah new her when she was younger. The accident that sent So-hee into a coma came when she was trying to cross the street to visit Hong-ah–who witnessed it out the windown and did nothing to help her this young woman who wanted to be friends…

She now realizes that So-hee wants to be disconnected from the life support and her please are becoming more desperate. Added to the mix now are the ghosts of the hospital director who just tells Hong-ah to go and the little girl Hye-yeong who proves that she really doesn’t care who she takes her wrath out on–although in her haunting of Hong-ah, it seems not to be motivated by malice.

Hong-ah makes her way back to So-hee’s room to see the mess left behind by Nurse Kang’s attack. She starts to trail the bloody footprints hoping to discover her friend. Unfortunately, what she finds is quite terrifying–I swear I’m going to have nightmares after watching this bizarre scene. I’m not really sure what is happening–or why it’s happening, but I am sure it will be explained.  But first we get another flashback…

Dr Jang is forcing the weakened So-hee to tell him about her near-death experience and what she saw on the other side. She tells him about what might have been Heaven but she is too feeble to speak for long. The doctor takes her to the basement operating room to perform an experiment to end her life and then pull her back one again so he can learn more about what happens after death. He does this not through an injection but by draining all the blood from her body. He leaves her like that for a full minute before reintroducing the blood to her system. Something goes wrong–she does not wake up.

Well, so much for my theory that So-hee brought something back from the afterlife. Before going under for the final time, So-hee sees a ghost in the operating room but the ending of this film makes it clear.  Whoever is inhabiting So-hee’s body after Nurse Kang poisoned it is clearly NOT So-hee. Hong-ah gives us the evidence we need to make that deduction.

Chapter 5: Doctor Jang Seo-Won will conclude the series.

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