Du Saram-yida (Voices) (Ki-hwan Oh, 2007)
I go off every now and again about movies that are brought over here and marketed as Yet Another Asian Horror Film that are actually anything but, and that suffer greatly for being marketed as same. Part of the reason they suffer so is that the glory days of Yet Another Asian Horror films are, by and large, long gone. You still find the pearl now and again, but the number of swine seems to have increased tremendously in the past few years. Case in point: Du Saram-yida, released in English-speaking countries as Voices, a re-tread of a re-tread of a dozen other movies you’ve seen.
Plot: Ga-in (Oldboy‘s Jin-seo Yun) is a high-school student and an award-winning fencer, but that’s not enough for her coach, who’s constantly pressing her to be better than her male colleagues. She’s never exactly been one of the popular kids, either, but she finds what may be a friend in a new transfer student, Sung-min (War of the Arrows‘ Gi-woong Park). Unfortunately, his friendship couldn’t have come at a worse time; it seems Ga-in’s family has recently come under a death curse that causes family members to kill one another in vicious, bloody ways. Oddly (or is it?), Sung-Min seems familiar with this curse, and his advice to Ga-in plays as a constant refrain throughout the second half of the film: “don’t trust anyone.”
It’s a good premise, and given a director with some vision and originality, it could have been a stylish, competent-if-not-brilliant horror movie. Instead, Oh grabs a piece from horror movie A, a piece from horror movie B, etc., and sticks them all together. Even that can work okay, as long as you’re a good enough artisan that the seams don’t show, but Oh is not that artisan. This is nothing you haven’t seen before…so why watch it again? * ½