Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Kim Seo-hyeong, Kim Ok-bin, Seo Ji-hye, Cha Ye-ryeon
Directed by Choi Ik-Hwan
Distributed by Genius Products
"Great. Juuuust great". Yep, that was my initial reaction when this flick came across my desk for review. Let's see, another Asian horror film featuring the ghost of a person who was done wrong and needs to get revenge in order to rest in peace. I wonder what object will be possessed? A wig? A video tape? A house? To say that I'm done with Asian horror having to do with a spooky pale chick with long black hair is an understatement. They are soooooo all the same -- sleepy, dreary little bits of here we go again. I popped this one in the old DVD player (much to my chagrin) and strapped in for the upcoming par-for-the-course. But then it happened! Some originality was beginning to shine through. My initial want to fast forward began to dissipate. Good lord, could it be?
We meet our two protagonists Seon-min (Ji-hye) and Young-eon (Ok-bin) at school. Young-eon has decided to stay late to practice her singing, and being that Seon-min is her best friend, she hangs around and waits for her to finish. After a while, however, Seon-min gives up and leaves her buddy to her own devices. Little did she know it would be the last time she'd see her alive ... but it certainly wouldn't be the last time she'd hear her. Something really bad happened at the school that night, and as a result Seon-Min is the only person who can hear Young-eon's voice. Together the two of them set out to solve a bit of a mystery riddled with plot twists, vengeful spirits, and a fair amount of red stuff.
Voice doesn't rely on the conventional J-horror stuff to get its scares across. Don't get me wrong; all of the clichés you would expect are firmly in place, but it's the surrounding bits that are far more interesting. I have to say by the time all was said and done, I really didn't see half of the things that were thrown at me coming. Better yet, director Choi Ik-Hwan's camera work is really intense and even echoes Argento's patented over-saturated nightmarish worlds at their finest every now and again. Color me red in the face for at first being so close-minded.
In terms of special features, you really won't find anything too special laying around here as the only supplemental material we're given comes in the form of a 25-minute behind-the-scenes featurette (which is pretty standard) and the film's theatrical trailer, which identifies it as High School Girl's Ghost Story 4: Voice Letter. Good thing that I didn't know that title going in, or I probably would have skipped this otherwise competent flick altogether.
For me Voice is proof positive that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or silly original title. I love it when upon beating a dead horse, the fallen steed can offer a swift kick back every so often. While not an amazing film by any stretch of the imagination, this little flick shouts just loud enough to get itself noticed. Decent stuff!
3 out of 5
2 out of 5
Discuss Voice in our Dread Central forums!