A movie directed by Eli Roth
Re-titled and re-packaged as "VOICES" as part of this latest "After Dark Horror fest" film festival, director Ki-Hwan Oh's "Some Behind You" (aka. Du Saram Yida) is a South Korean commercial horror film--when I say "commercial", I mean because it has an appealing cast, and somewhat compelling characters adapted from a comic book by Kang Kyung-Ok. I wasn't expecting much when I saw this film, since most commercial Korean films usually suck but I decided to give it a chance. I should've known much better.
Kim Ga-In (Jin-Seo Yun, she‘s actually 24 yrs. old) is a high school student dating Hyung Joong, a medical intern (a 16-18 year old dating a mid-20‘s intern, a little far-fetched don't you think?). One day, her aunt Ji-Sun falls off the balcony during her wedding day, and later on killed by her other aunt Jung-Sun. Soon after, strange things begin to occur as a significant number of people attempts to kill Ga-In; the school bookworm, her teacher, her fencing partner, and then even her own mother gets into the mix. She realizes that something is not right, and decides to leave--(really?) Now, she must get to the bottom of a so-called "family curse" that drives the smallest amount animosity turn to violent behavior.
The film's direction and script is rather very unfocused and very undisciplined in the way it lacked credibility in its proceedings. A lot of things happen that require a very large suspension of disbelief. Silly elements are introduced, the film tries to point a finger to reasoning, and logic--one minute it is talking about curses, then we see a crazed murder plot in the final act. What makes it worst is the manner it all puts everything together in such a convoluted fashion that felt too cheap and made no sense. I don't really mind an abundance of subplots so long as the direction makes sense of them all by establishing groundwork; director Oh terribly fails in this needed execution and goes for cheap surprises that neither adds a psychological effect nor a narrative surprise.
The screenplay by Lee Hyo-Chul is big mess, it became laughable and preposterous the longer it went; with her mother apologizing to Ga-In's attempted murder and then there's a mysterious guy named Seok-Min--who looked like a creepy Japanimation character--is he a figment of Ga-In's imagination or something else? Well, her friend Myung-Hee saw him so he is no phantom or "figment" even though the script suggests otherwise. Also, whatever happened to the cops? I thought a number of killings would raise a red flag on this family. The curse's own development seemed too convoluted that it was so obvious that its rules lacked consistency. Actually, it is just one huge messy storyline with twists so ubiquitous.
To its credit, the cinematography does look very slick and cool as with other more mainstream Korean horror films. The film does looked very pretty, with some scenes utilizing an effective use of CGI effects. The scene with the floating mid-air pool of blood is freaky. The film also has a good share of blood and mild gore, as it displays its somewhat violent sequences. The performance by Jin-Seo Kim is competent enough, she is after a good actress although you would be hard-pressed to notice in this film given the script she has to work with.
"Voices" is one entry in the books of Korean horror, that looks pretty. Unfortunately, all its good looks are overshadowed by a very uninspired script, unfocused direction and a cheap attempt for a cerebral surprise. A Horror film has to have its rules and groundwork well established, otherwise it would result in a very annoying experience. Personally, I think it should have kept its original title in U.S. shores--and as to why it was picked for "Horror fest" I have no idea. Sometimes, I just have to listen to my gut feeling or to the voice behind me--BOO!!
Rental [2 ½- Stars]
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A movie directed by Eli Roth
Japanese Horror film
South Korean Horror film