HIGHER EDUCATION WILL KILL YOU
Ryeong (Dead Friend)
aka The Ghost (2004) S. Korea
I thought I'd put a little foreign higher education up for a look-see to find if their students fare any better than American ones when it comes to going off to college only to get themselves killed. Being an Eastern film, I knew this wasn't going to be about machete wielding psychos or friends going on break in some remote place to get picked off one by one.
If you've ever watched Eastern movies you know that they mostly have a whole different set of fears than the Western world, mainly of angered or nasty ancestors, ghosts, ghoulies, etc. Anything that has to do with the spiritual world is the stuff of their nightmares. The American poster of this movie says it's a combination of Dark Water and The Grudge. I'd say it's more a direct ripoff of The Ring which of course rips off Ringu. In any language this film had not a single interesting thing about it. The sight of Asian girls looking wickedly through wet hair has long lost its scare potential and this movie depends on that scene a lot.
The basics 'cause a complete story is pedantic, we have two girls growing up together as friends and of course as things go one goes on to friend others while the other is left behind. The four girls use her to their advantage but don't really like her. Fast forward to high school and they are even more cruel.
Now Min Ji-Won is in college although she is an amnesiac after some accident she, of course, can't remember and no one will tell her. She feels well enough to leave college, go overseas and start over as... whoever she is now. But her amnesia is starting to fall apart - bits and pieces of her past come flooding in her dreams and in real life - and she finds that the girls she went to school with (the three she hung with) are dying, and the one they ignored has been missing for over a year.
It doesn't take a college graduate (or an expert movie reviewer either) to figure this out the first time ole' soggy bottom shows herself - obviously something happened to the unpopular one and she drowned, causing Ji-Won's amnesia. Duh. But this movie takes 95 minutes to get to the point and we get droning story with little 'eeks' here and there to keep it a supposed 'horror' movie. And finding the dead girl in the water perfectly preserved after a year under because the water 'is full of arsenic' was just a massive DUH.
The only interesting effect was, instead of crawling out of a television, the drowned pissed off spirit crawls up from a wood floor - a mixture of wood and water that they did a pretty good job of mixing together - a little shaky, but still pretty good.
It reminded me of My Chemical Romance's video The Ghost Of You, when they blended a veteran's hall with a battlefield - great effects all around.
But since these things never have happy endings, the amnesiac finds out she's really a stone cold bitch, we get a 'who's got the spirit' sequence that really is not explained AT ALL, Ji-Won slashes her wrist to keep the spirit away but the spirit's not going to give up and is still (unknown to Ji-Won) possessing the dead girl's mother. Possibly hoping for a sequel I suppose.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.