Nightmare (Gawi) Horror Game Movie [2000] • South Korea

Ha Ji-won is fabulous here, playing a Korean JHGC (J-Horror Goth Chick) with bangs and neatly combed hair. Just a little black around the eyes and she's as creepy as they come. And quite beautiful too. In fact, the only redeeming quality of this attempt to jump on the I Know What You Did Last Summer style of horror bandwagon is that all the female players are gorgeous. And they do a fine job acting. Beyond that, compliments are hard to muster.

I hesitate to single out someone for deep ridicule but the guy who plays the lawyer in this flick, his acting is so bad it's painful. He ruins the film. Well, a script that is convoluted beyond repair doesn't help but if it was the script alone it wouldn't be painful. There's an inverse relationship between the film's cohesion and the level of badness to this guy's acting. As the film falls apart, making suspension of disbelief nearly unattainable, this guy gets more screen time and becomes more obnoxious. By the time the third act rolls around it's a chore not to hit the eject button.

There are buckets and buckets of blood spilled and some of the kills are pretty good, and, much to my surprise as it's unusual in Korean cinema featuring young starlets, there's brief nudity, Ha Ji-won included. So it's got the ingredients. They're just not stirred very well. A group of friends, boys and girls, belong to an organization called "A Few Good Men". They (accidentally?) kill one of their members and try to cover it up by faking it as a suicide. The one who got killed is bummed out by it so she comes back and starts killing the members of the club, one by one. Good thing one of the members is a videographer and gets all of it on tape. Also a good thing that no one else in the community seems aware of all the bloodshed ... but I digress. The hilarious thing about this videotape is that it is magically done in third-person, if you will. Several times all of the characters are actually in the video. And the guy with the camera, just after assisting with pushing the deceased off a rooftop in the attempted fake suicide, flies out into mid-air, and even does a pull back, so we get a good view of the body going down and eventually landing on the roof of a car. I know this can be explained by security cameras, editing, and artistic license to splice in other people's points of view, but it's still hilarious when you watch it.

All in all there is some enjoyment to be had from watching a handful of attractive young Koreans go through the horror motions, but I can pretty much guarantee you will be groaning and moaning and pointing fingers and poking fun at this flick before it's over.

Director: Byeong-ki Ahn
Starring: Gyu-ri Kim, Ji-won Ha, Jeong-yun Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hyeon-suk Yun, Jun-Sang Yu, Jun Jeong, Hye-yeong Jo


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