Seen in Jeonju

Coma 2: Crack (2005)

10th January 2010

coma 2Originally posted May 17, 2009–The mystery continues. Previously we witnessed the events leading up to the disappearance of Hye-yeong. At the start of the chapter, we witnessed demolition and salvage workers opening up a mysterious sealed room in the basement of the hospital. In the second chapter we are witness to a horrific tragedy that occured therein and how events in the past are related to the future.

Nurse Kang, who had little if anything to do in the first chapter, is the focus of this film. She knows  a lot about the workings of the hospital. For example, she knows that the director of the hospital is addicted to morphine. She knows where he keeps a great deal of money. She knows that she has handsome doctor Jang under her thumb as long as she keeps his secrets. And she knows that his patient, So-hee is standing in her way.

As in the first film, there are many flashbacks. Nurse Kang’s flashback’s reveal that she was part of a coverup that partially explains the fate of Hye-yeong.  The girl was discovered, already bloodied (how?–that is not yet revealed) and Kang rushes her to the operating theater, assuring the still-conscious girl that everything is going to be ok. When next she enters the theater, the young nurse Kang is horrified to see the un-anesthesized child screaming in terror and pain as a fountain of blood erupts from her stomach. The hospital director and Dr. Jang are present and it is strongly implied that the director’s drug use is responsible for the accident. Kang wraps the girl’s body, clothes, and a creepy laughing doll in plastic and gives them to the strange old janitor Choi for disposal. What she does not know is that the girl is still alive and calls out to Choi to save her. Nor does she know that the scary doll will be making appearnace again..and again..and again.

The knowledge that Hye-yeong survived leads us to believe what most viewers of chapter one may have already suspected, that coma patient So-hee is actually Hye-yeong. But it does seem to be so simple.  Something has been freed from the hospital basement when the seal was cracked (hence the title of this film). There is a brief glimpse of an experiment being conducted on So-hee by Dr. Jang in which he tells her that he is sending her “to Heaven again and this time she must tell him what it is like when she returns.!”  There is another mystery as well. Insurance agent Yeong discovers that a settlement was paid on her sister–something she had never heard about. Had her debt-ridden mother simply taken the money and agreed to keep quiet, or did someone else file a claim on her sister and take the money?

In the present, Kang views the re-opened room in horror. We can also see that the protective shields written on paper are not only on the bed as we saw in the first movie, but are on all the walls and the remaining equipment as well. Kang backs out of the room as the papers flutter from the walls and she knows that she is not alone. Although we cannot know for certain yet, it seems possible that on one of her trips to the afterlife, ‘So-hee’ brought something back with her.

Although scared of what is now lurking the hospital, Kang knows exactly where she is going to place the blame–on So-hee. For being one of the hospital’s darkest secrets, for driving a wedge between the nurse and her lover, and for being responsible for whatever is now haunting her, Nurse Kang decides to end it. Filling syringe after syringe with various drugs, she pumps the comatose patient–but if you think that is the end of So-hee, keep watching. Apparently, she has been dead before–why should an overdose stop her now?

Unlike Chapter I, the Birthday Party, Chapter 2 cannot be watched on its own. Nor is it as atmospheric as the first. Nevertheless, it does a good job in answering some questions left dangling in Chapter 1 but with solutions that leave even bigger questions. I am now looking forward to Chapter 3: The Necklace

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