Posts Tagged ‘Son Ho-Jun’



KOREA 2010  Directed by: Yoo Seon-Dong Written by: Lee Gong-Joo, Lee Jeong-Hwa, Park Hye-Min Cinematography by: Yeong-Taek Choi  Editing by: Steve M. Choe, Jin Lee  Cast: Park Ji-Yeon, Hwang Jeong-Eum, Yoon Si-Yoon, Park Eun-Bin, Kim Su-Ro, Son Ho-Jun, Ji Chang-Wook, Choi Ah-Jin, Yun Seung-Ah, Nam Bo-Ra, Kwon Hyeon-Sang, Yeo Min-Joo

Now, it’s quite obvious that GOSA is not the material that needs to be made into a sequel, and it’s also not a secret that GOSA is me-too in the first place, which makes GOSA 2, what, a second-gen copy? Anyway, someone took a couple of Won and went ahead without ever consulting me (help you I can, young Padawan).

What amazes me the most about DEATH BELL 2 is that there is no learning curve whatsoever. On the contrary, while DEATH BELL 2 is not directly related to the first film it however follows the dramaturgy of DEATH BELL almost step by step, going as far as to re-shoot many scenes exactly as they were in the first part. The script appears to be based on a template, with new content added into the existing framework, resulting in marginal differences between DEATH BELL 1 & 2.

What concept is that? Exactly. DEATH BELL 2 is more of the same: wicked games, student killings, a dark secret and so forth. The makers of the movie have paid attention to the death scenes finally, displaying more creativity than before and making DEATH BELL 2 a slightly more watchable genre flick. Nevertheless it never matches the films it quotes as inspiration.

Just as before the characters remain bloodless throughout, nothing more than cannon fodder. Why we should care remains the secret of Yoo Seon-Dong. In between the killings we are exposed to confusing story elements that don’t do any good; if there’s one thing the first film did better then that it was mostly straight-forward. DEATH BELL 2 is more talkative than its predecessor, without adding anything we need to hear.

There are people out there who “have been waiting for” this movie. I don’t see a reason why anyone would wait for a mediocre sequel to a mediocre first film. But so be it; I am sure whoever considers DEATH BELL 2 another good horror movie will have his/her reasons. I for my part won’t join the club of followers though.




KOREA 2008  Directed by: Yoon Hong-Seung Written by: Kim Eun-Kyeong, Yoon Hong-Seung Produced by: Kim Kwang-Seop, Seong-Been  Cinematography by: Heo Seong-Ryong  Editing by: Yu Yeong-Ju  Music by: Kim Jun-Seong Cast: Nam Gyu-Ri, Kim Beom, Lee Beom-Su, Yun Jeong-Hee, Lee Chae-Won, Moon Woong-Ki, Kong Jeong-Hwan, Son Yeo-Eun, Eun Jung, Son Ho-Jun, Kwon Hyeon-Sang

If, I mean just if, you are interested to find out how BATTLE ROYALE looks like when transferred to a Korean School, then DEATH BELL might be your thing. I guess ripping off Japanese movies is some sort of late revenge.

A school in the middle of god-knows-where, students being killed one by one by some lunatic who is playing SAW with them, a mysterious past – ready is the Korean instant teen horror. There isn’t much more to the story really, so let’s move on.

DEATH BELL follows genre conventions in almost convulsive fashion: giving away some parts of its puzzle early on, the movie is scripted A-Z style. We learn about the school, its teachers and students, who the good guys and who the bad guys are, learn about relationships, then the killer strikes and the game begins. One down, twenty to go.

Along the way DEATH BELL presents some candidates who run for murderer, so you might want to take your pick and see if you’re right or not. The ending is predictable except for the “why?” question: the movie finally not only reveals who the killer is, but also his motifs. The conclusion is pretty far-fetched, so don’t pretend you saw that comin’: it’s not a bad ending, but it certainly is highly constructed.

While its script is standard, DEATH BELL is also anything but creative as far as the deaths are concerned. The least genre fans would expect are somewhat outstanding killings (that sounds terrible, doesn’t it); ever since FINAL DESTINATION we are spoiled, accepting only the most extraordinary hack-and-slash. Yoon Hong-Seung has forgotten about that (and it’s even more important to remember that if you have nothing else to offer).

DEATH BELL however is very content with being average and puts little effort into trying to excel. With its formal aspects being not much of an aspect the lackluster death scenes and random riddles the students have to solve have a hard time to keep us awake.

I managed though, but I don’t remember how. Don’t believe the hype: DEATH BELL is an average horror flick, catering to average expectations.