Tuesday Terribles is a periodical series here at GTG, created because of our love for Asian cinema.
What we do with Tuesday Terribles will be similar to what other websites do with film reviews, except we won’t give a grade or score. Actually, we won’t even do serious reviews with Tuesday Terribles, because as the name suggests, these are films that we regard as just terrible. So, we want you to laugh with us at how terrible these films are.
We plan on talking about films from all across Asia (including Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, The Philippines, etc), both old and new. We basically want to you to laugh with us at the bad films that Asia can produce.
One last note: We probably will spoil the films for you, though we’ll try hard not to. But sometimes plot twists can be so bad that it deserves laughing at.
That being said, let’s get the show on the road!
This week’s Tuesday Terrible: Ghastly
- The movie took roughly two and a half months to film and edit. Filming of the movie began on May 21st, 2011 and was released in August 4th, 2011.
- The movie features Hyo-min, a member of the female K-pop group, T-ara. In the beginning of the film, she and her friends dance to her group’s song “Roly Poly”.
- As with many Korean horror movies, the lead two females are quite hot. While many viewers may like the younger Hyo-min from T-ara, I liked the older, more mature Ham Eun-jung myself.
- The film’s setting takes place in Yangpyeong, a smaller city about an hour away east from Seoul.
It seemed so interesting at first…
A young boy named Bin (Lee Hyung-suk) wakes up one night to the sound of cutting in the living room. He soon sees the most terrible thing a kid could see: his own mother killing his father with a butcher knife. After killing her own husband, she cuts off his feet. Then she turns and cuts off her own … while smiling towards her son Bin. With her blood smeared all over the room, it’s only a matter of time before his mother would bleed to death. Not knowing what to think or do, Bin stands in silence while her mother dies.
The next day, an investigation is soon carried out by the police. They notice that the mother’s death is strange, seeing how she cut off both her and her husband’s feet. Meanwhile, as the investigation for the killer is underway, Bin soon finds himself without a home, much less parents. He is sent to live with his aunt Seo-ni (Ham Eun-jung), his uncle Jang-hwan (Park Seong-min), and his cousin Yoo-rin (Hyo-min).
Yet, when uncle Jang-hwan decides to move the family into the very house in which Bin’s parents were killed mere weeks before, strange things start to happen. With the uneasy feeling of a brutal killing happening in the house, the true killer still not found, and Bin starting to act weird, the family’s nightmare has just begun.
I Think My Head Just Exploded From This Nonsense
If there’s one aspect that a movie should have, it’s believability. Good acting, story, and setting give a film are factors that contribute to that. Oftentimes, if a movie can be taken seriously, it’s considered a good movie.
Unfortunately, Ghastly’s plot is as believable as an alcohol-free bar. You’re better off believing in the existences of Hogwarts and sparkling vampires. Hell, you might even be better off believing that D-War is a literal masterpiece.
If there’s one scene that can describe the film’s unbelievability, it’s this:
(Bin is drawing a picture outside during art class. Two bigger bullies approach him.)
Bin: You’re bullying me, stop it!
Kid A: No, we’re going to take your art picture.
Kid B: Haha, what a loser.
(Bin takes a sharpened pencil and stabs Kid A in the neck. Kid A bleeds to death.)
All the other kids: Oh my God! He just killed Kid A.
Teacher: Okay, settle down kids. It’s just one dead kid. Bin, go home and think why killing is bad.
(Later that night…)
Seo-ni (Bin’s aunt): It’s okay Bin. Let’s not worry that you just murdered a kid and get some rest. Since this film can defy common sense and the law, the police will not arrest you, nor will there be an investigation. You’re just an innocent kid after all.
Bin: Cool! That means I get to murder more people in the film … without being caught!
Seo-ni:: Did you say something?
Bin: Oh nothing!
I wish the above parody was an exaggeration, but I assure you that it’s not. While paraphrased, the scene above is also dead on.
Viewers generally will suspend their belief when watching a horror movie. Zombies, ghosts, spirits, and yes, long-haired female ghosts are fair game. Unexplained curses, voodoo magic, ample amounts of blood, and other horror staples are acceptable.
However, when a shocking event – such as … I dunno, a murder – happens, the audience expects some sort of logical response. For example, the police thoroughly arresting the suspect, questioning them, and looking at the evidence would make common sense. So when this response is completely absent in the film – and even letting Bin attend school the next day no less – it’s hard to take this movie seriously any longer.
Another problem is the family is as likable as the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Even Jar Jar Binks had his quirky, yet annoying moments in Star Wars: Episodes 1 and 2, but at least he was remembered for something. Yet, in this film, the same thing can’t be said for anyone.
Each character can be narrowed down to one or two cliched characteristics. The uncle, Jang-hwan, is a business man that works a lot and makes risky investments; Bin plays a quiet kid that doesn’t fit in as school; Seo-ni’s younger sister, Yoo-rin, strives for Seo-ni’s attention, while partying on most nights; Seo-ni is the strong housewife that investigates the murders during her free time.
Oh, and I almost forgot about the police. They were really just in the background for much of the film.
There were also some really weird, awkward moments in the film. Keep in mind, we mean more awkward than finding out too late that you’re out of toilet paper, or even attending T-ara concert thinking that the main act is Girls’ Generation.
One example is when Jang-hwan and his wife, Seo-ni, get into an argument about why they moved into the creepy house. After the ensuing argument, Seo-ni leaves the room, while Jang-hwan is visibly upset. Yet, in a weird, totally unneeded shot, Jang-hwan then checks out Yoo-rin’s legs for a good ten seconds. Naturally, Yoo-rin catches his brother-in-law’s glances and calls him a pervert. While checking out any T-ara member like a library book is no crime, checking out your underaged sister-in-law makes no sense in the movie, not to mention creepy.
As with all horror movies (and thrillers too), part of the appeal is the question: just who is the real killer? However, in this film, it won’t take a Sherlock Holmes to know who the true killer is. As to why the killer offs their victims, the reason is explained towards the end. Yet, when you finally find out the reason behind it all, be prepared to be disappointed; it really feels unfinished.
The ending also leaves something to be desired. While some films do leave open-ended conclusions, those movies also have strong, coherent storylines from start to finish. But since this film has plot holes as large as craters, it doesn’t really explain the most important part in any horror movie: who survives in the end.
Watch this film if…
…you want to see common sense thrown out the window.