Death Bell

Death BellOver the last ten or fifteen years, some really great horror has come out of Asia. Some really great stuff, like Ringu, The Host, and Oldboy. These films have influenced American horror as well.  Usually, we mess it up, but at least the influences are original.  Because of this trend, I may have expected more than I should have from Yoon Hong-Seung’s Death Bell, but I’m pretty sure that even if I didn’t expect much, I’d be disappointed.

The film takes place at a boarding school in South Korea.  Exams are just ending, an a group of the smartest students are selected to take place in an elite class to boost school reputation.  The rest of the students are sent home, leaving a few teachers and these students alone on a giant campus.  At this point, some one starts breaking a student away from the group at a time, and torturing and killing them over the school’s PA system if the surviving students can’t answer complicated questions fast enough.

Yep, this is another one of those movies.  What little plot there is flimsy and secondary to the creative kill scenes.  It seems for a while that the culprit behind the killings is an angry ghost, which we get to see in flashbacks and dreams that mirror scenes we’ve already seen done much better in other films.  First time director Hong-Seung (who co-wrote the script with Kim Eun-Kyeong) doesn’t seem to have the ability to create any tension and picking victims based on intelligence and wealth is a tired trick.  So is the twist-ending.  Which is as bland as the rest of the film.  Unless watching someone die drowning in melted candle wax is your thing.

★½☆☆

Watch the trailer here.

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One Response to “Death Bell”
  1. bitchin’ new blog layout. i don’t know how long its been like this, but i dig it.
    also, did you know i’m in south korea? and i spend most of my time at a school?! omg this could happen to me! spooky…

    were the questions hard? you know, the ones that were asked over the PA system? i’m thinking i might want to go over them with my kids-just in case.

    ps please watch/review this is it. classic film. and i would appreciate it if you could elaborate on how kenny ortega went from high school musicals to MJ. it confuses me. thanks.
    .-= CindyKnowsMovies´s last blog ..Epitome of Pathetic =-.

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