Monday, January 12, 2009

Voices (2007)

Note: This review is part of my coverage of Horrorfest III.


I didn't even realize until it started, but Voices is a Korean film. I forgot that Horrorfest so far has always had a token Asian horror. And yet, despite being the token Asian horror, Voices was a great film (i.e., it deserves its spot and is not just there to fill a quota). A good supernatural thriller. One thing is certain when it comes to Asian horror - those Asians understand frightening imagery. I don't know that Voices is all that scary a film, in the traditional sense, but there were certain scenes that gave me chills - unlike any of these other horror titles I've been watching.

And I have to say, I'm partial to the Japanese, but let's get real, Asian schoolgirls are Asian schoolgirls no matter which side of the sea you're on.

So, the idea of this one is that people who love each other are killing each other for some reason. The reason has to do with some sort of supernatural curse. At the risk of spoilage, the curse comes in the form of a boy, who quite creepily looks the part - he's normal enough that you don't suspect that he's not human, but something in his eyes tells you that he's not quite normal, either. He's like the devil in a tux kind of character. And as the curse, in simple terms, he's more or less an embodiment of Jealousy.

You know it yourself. Think of the people you care for. There have been times when they upset you or worry you or whatever and you find yourself wishing them harm. Well, Jealousy, if we can call him that, merely feeds on those wishes and amplifies them. It's clear that he's an aid to all the wild murders and suicides going on, but he does a pretty damn good job of tormenting his targets by reminding them that he only gave them the knife (or other implement of doom) - they were the ones that committed the acts. Very diabolical, indeed.

The details of the story revolve around one particular schoolgirl and her family. She fences, in case that interests you. The rest you can pick up if you watch the film. We never really figure out the reason behind the curse - where this Jealousy character came from, but I don't think that's really all that important, because the film leaves you with that uncertain feeling, that maybe Jealousy really exists, and that we ought to be careful with those dangerous wishes we have, lest they consume us and we become another of the unthinkable tragedies that frequently pop up on the news.

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