Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Face


(2004) ***

My Asian trend continues with this recent Korean offering, K-horror? A serial killer is on the loose, reducing his victims to bones. The killer is a sort of psychotic Robin Hood as his motivation is to harvest organs in order to give them to more deserving people. Making little progress on the case, the police contact Hyun-min, a forensics expert in facial reconstruction. With the latest victim’s bones in his home, Hyun-min’s daughter begins to have frightening visions of a longhaired woman. Realizing that his daughter is in danger, Hyun-min becomes obsessed with solving the case.

I liked Face, but the Asian trend of longhaired ghosts who have been wronged is beginning to wear out its welcome. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a lot of jump-out ghostly scares in Face, it’s just that they don’t pack the same punch that they once did. Like American screenwriters, it’s interesting to watch the Asian film community drive a great idea into the ground. Also, at times only we, the audience, see the ghost while the unsuspecting protagonist is going though his normal routine. For example, Hyun-min is washing his face and in the background we see the ghost walk by. I kept thinking, “How can the ghost be scary if Hyun-min isn’t even aware that she’s present?” However I must confess, I still get a chill when these longhaired girls flash onscreen. Despite an unnecessary love story and an oversaturation of the before-mentioned longhaired ghost, Face is still fairly effective and worthy of the J? K? horror title.

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