johnlink ranks GOSA (DEATH BELL) (2008)

I’m not very familiar with Korean cinema. I’ve heard good things, and I’ve seen a flick here or there, but I haven’t looked to seek it out either. This movie, DEATH BELL, popped up on Sundance and I thought I would give the first five or ten minutes a glance. It held me enough to watch it through. Perfection? Well this is the story of a bunch of elite Korean students being killed off one by one as they try and answer an impossible test by the killer who may or may not be supernatural. So not perfect, but entertaining enough.

I watched GOSA (DEATH BELL) (2008) on 9.23.11. It was my first viewing of the film. TRAILER HERE

In full disclosure, this was the first time I’ve had to jump online after a film ended to make sure that I got it all. It’s not that the film is overly complex, but it crams a lot of twists into the last ten minutes, and the subtitles aren’t the greatest I have ever seen.

Despite that, I found this an enjoyable horror flick. Though the situations were absurd and the plot was fairly weak, the performances were solid enough to carry the film anyway. Usually I get lost when a film falls into the SAW trap… pretending to give the protagonists an opportunity to solve a riddle, but knowing the victims are going to die anyway. But in this case, I was able to maintain interest and care about what was coming next. Sure the third act slaps me across the face for liking certain people, but that is not atypical for a horror film.

Like many in the genre, this tries to mix supernatural with reality. Yes, there are human villains, but is a ghost in the mix as well? The answer in this film is clunkier than most.

Eastern cinema has been the torch bearer for horror films this past decade. Not that the West has produced nothing, but critical acclaim seems to lean to the East. I haven’t seen enough to make a call one way or the other. This film doesn’t offer anything more than its Western counterparts, save (maybe) for slightly better acting.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 7; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 3

4+7+6+3+0=20

FINAL SCORE: 5

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~ by johnlink00 on September 24, 2011.

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