31 Days of Horror: The Silenced (NR; 2015; 99 min.)

the-silenced

Lush with both scenery and acting, this subtitled South Korean movie is at once creepy and sad. However, despite the promising story line and wonderful performances, especially by lead Park Bo-young as Ju-ran, it somewhat loses its steam midway through when it tries to become a different kind of movie.

Ju-ran is a young, ill girl just arriving at an all-girls’ sanatorium in 1938’s Japanese-occupied southern Korea. She is quickly put in her place by both the staff and other girls, and given a Japanese name – Shizuko – just like another girl who recently and mysteriously left the home and her friends behind. This leads to many problems for her as she tries to make friends and regain her health. As the story unfolds in a gentle, quiet manner, Ju-Ran discovers her headmistress, the other girls, and the sanatorium itself are not quite as they appear. Nice creepiness and horror-style events soon give way to a plot filled with supernatural elements, mental instability, and medical tinkering, making the viewer switch gears and begin watching an action movie instead. Not an entirely bad action movie, just not as promising as the plot might have been if steered safely down the road as horror alone.

  • Top Scare: In bedroom
  • Heartbeats: 2 1/2 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 2 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 3 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 14 and up

 

 

 

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