Friday, October 23, 2009
Something happened to Ji-won. She doesn’t know what, but it has left her memory a blank pallet. She hasn’t a clue who she was, who her friends were, or anything about her life before her incident. When she discovers that girls who were once her friends start mysteriously dying off one by one, she starts to investigate, and as she begins revealing the pieces of her past life, strange and horrific visions begin to haunt her.
The Ghost is another in a line of Korean Ghost stories, using a similar formula we have seen before. This includes a long haired ghost of a girl seeking vengeance for whatever caused her death. If you have seen enough Asian ghost stories then you will know what you are in for when you watch this film (also known as ‘Dear Friend’). So do not expect to be scared witless or even scared at all. This is not a scary film. Its scare tactics have been used so much before, that you will know ahead of time when to be scared just by the scenes set up. At one point a young girl decides in the middle of the night to get a glass of water from the kitchen. Where does she get the water from, the facet. . .I think you can figure out what happends next.
You will see a lot of familiar formulas used throughout the film, mainly elements from three quite popular and well known films. Ju-on, Dark Water, and A Tale of Two Sisters all appear to have had a hand in the inspiration of The Ghost. Our vengeful ghost liked to use water to kill her victims.
So despite all the familiarity of its story, The Ghost it is still a decent film. Caution must be made that it does take a fan of the Asian ghost genre to enjoy the film. Some may and will be put off by what many believe to be an overused formula. It’s not the vengeful ghost that makes this such an enjoyable and worthwhile watch. It’s rather the story of our poor amnesia struck leading character Ji-won. Little is revealed to the viewer that she does not first discover on her own. So we get to learn along side of her. The story is one of self discovery; unfortunately for her what she discovers is not going to come easy. This is in fact where the truly horrific elements of the film begin. As the film reaches its climax, and we discover why Ji-won is being haunted by this ghost, and why her friends are being rubbed out one by one, but Ji-won is not. Then it really does send a chill down your spine. However it must also be added that it is a realization that is far more sad then scary.
But just when you think all is well, the wrench is truly thrown into the gears and the entire film is turned upside down to review what has truly been going on for the last 90 or so minutes. This finale might leave you a bit confused. But really, what fun is a plot twist if you don’t need to think it through afterwards?
A Film by: Kim Tae-Kyeong