Saturday, July 13, 2013

White (live action movie), via Netflix

White is a Korean horror movie.

I liked the thumbnail art (also used in my post), but, you know, I really should just delete all horror movies from my Netflix queue. I am wimpy, and they are not good for me. As stupid as parts of this movie were, it still had me hiding my eyes and checking the dark corners of my apartment.

Eun-ju is the oldest member of a failing girl band, Pink Dolls. The three other girls in the group badmouth her, insult her, and refuse to listen to her, and yet she's expected to keep everyone in line. The band has come close to hitting rock bottom when they are moved to a new studio, which was owned by their sponsor's father. Eun-ju discovers a mysterious music video hidden away in the studio, and her band's manager likes the song and decides that they'll claim it as their own. It's an instant hit and propels the group into stardom, but things quickly begin to go wrong. The song requires that one girl be the “main,” the lead singer, and, of course, most of the girls want this spot. Unfortunately, each girl chosen to be the “main” quickly breaks down and spirals into madness, hallucinating horrible things and nearly winding up dead. When Eun-ju becomes the last girl in the group still standing, she knows she has to figure out who the “main” in the mysterious music video is and how that girl died, if she wants to stand a chance at breaking the curse and surviving herself.

I only knew a little bit about K-pop bands and how they work before watching this movie, but the Pink Dolls situation seemed spectacularly messed up. None of the girls liked or trusted each other, and the happy face they put on for the public was a complete facade. If any one of them had been told that they could be stars simply by ripping out the throats of their band members, most of them would have gladly done just that. Technically, the situation their new hit song put them in was very much like that. One of the girls even made a point of saying that the “accident” that happened to the first “main” could have been engineered by another band member.

Several of this movie's scares were a little laughable in how they played out. For example, I don't think it's possible to sing high notes and projectile vomit while being hanged (and why did no one clean the vomit off the window afterward?). Also, I rolled my eyes during a scene in which one of the Pink Doll members took part in a game show (reality TV episode?) and, spotting something scary in the dark, ran away from the people standing around her so that she could be all alone with the scary thing. Some of that may have been the result of hallucinations on her part, but it still seemed so contrived. The same went for all the song splicing and reversing near the end of the movie.

Even so, like I said, I'm a horror wimp. I tensed up whenever I spotted the pop singer's ghost hiding in the background, where the other characters couldn't see her, and I held my breathe as I waited to see if Sun-ye, Eun-ju's friend, could get to Eun-ju in time to save her. The last scare at the end was pretty stereotypical and made no sense as far as the movie's overall logic was concerned, but the movie as a whole did a decent job of scaring me. I laughed a little, though, when the song that got everyone killed played during the closing credits. Separated from the movie's events, it was just a catchy but incredibly forgettable song, nothing at all special about it.

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