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: Yoga School
Original Title: 요가학원
Directors: Yun Jae-yeon
Main Cast: Eugene
- One of the lead actresses, Eugene, was from the mega-popular 90s K-pop group, SES.
- Out of the seven actresses, only Eugene was familar about yoga.
- Two months before filming, the seven lead stars took a three hour intensive yoga session every day.
- Lee Young-jin made her first appearance in a horror film since the 1999 film Memento Mori.
- The movie was a top-seller during the summer of 2009. It was in the top ten for two weeks.
It seemed so interesting at first…
A beautiful, but older lady, Hyo-jung (Eugene), is the co-host of a televised shopping lingerie show. Yet, when a younger, stunning, and up-and-coming rival competes for her co-host position, Hyo-jung is soon replaced by her.
Feeling dejected, one of her female friends advises here to enroll in a week-long yoga school known for making their students stunning.
Once she arrives, she meets four other beautiful students and the strict yoga master heading the class, Nani, (Cha Soo-yeon). She soon lays down five rules they may never break. For the next seven days, these girls’ lives will be governed by these school’s laws.
She warns them that if any of these rules are broken, consequences will happen. What exactly are these punishments, Nani did not tell the girls.
The five rules are:
- No contact with the outside world.
- No eating food, unless told to do so.
- No showers or baths for one hour after yoga training.
- No looking at mirrors.
- No telling anyone else what happens in the academy.
Nani explains that out of the five girls, only one of them will be able to master the class and attain the secrets of ultimate and immortal beauty.
During the training, however, problems begin to slowly arise. The girls soon become tempted to break the five rules, testing their willpower every waking minute. They start to question the rules imposed upon them.
Meanwhile, Hyo-jung herself wonders about the strict rules. She also notices something more disturbing: a girl that never gets old. While she originally came here to become beautiful, she would soon realize that the price of beauty was more than she bargained for.
Time for disappointment
When you can file all of your paperwork at the DMV or Immigration before Yoga School‘s first scare, you know that doesn’t bode well for the movie’s quality.
In fact, the first movie’s horror scene happens around the 40-minute mark.
I’m all for spending the beginning of a film on character and plot development, but when a “horror” film spends more time on showcasing the girls’ stretching than doing its job of, I don’t know…scaring the audience…it’s time to admit that there’s a problem.
The unwritten rule in horror movies is to attempt to either scare the audience or make them feel uneasy/uncomfortable. Women screaming, creaking doors, dark passages, long-haired ghosts, blood – anything to keep the horror junkies motivated. Yet, when horror fanatics are expecting to be scared (or trying to be scared) and nothing comes fast enough, it lulls them to sleep.
Unfortunately, the big problem here is that nearly all of the scary scenes are in the end of the film. The beginning focuses on setting up a gorgeous environment (which admittedly it pulls off quite well) as well as reveal subplots for the different characters. But by the time the film gets to the action, you’ll be hit with so many pointless subplots and annoying characters that you’d probably have forgotten to care.
The characters have as much depth as a paper bag. Simply put, every girl in the film wants beauty and nothing more. There’s little substance behind each character and little do any of them licit sympathy whatsoever. The girls were portrayed as pretty airheads, which is a shame, because the actresses themselves were not bad. They acted quite well for the shoddy script they were given.
This fault lies with the film’s story writing.
The story telling makes as much sense as eating cereal with a fork. Expect plot holes, subplots that lead nowhere, and an ending that’s a mess. Even each character’s motive was unclear in the end. It felt like the director was trying to mesh a bunch of disjointed, smaller stories together and hoping it would work.
However, the film does have some strengths. The cinematography and environment are stunning, as the viewer will feel the cryptic, secluded atmosphere of the yoga school. As expected (it’s Korea after all), the five ladies are quite beautiful, giving guys some hot eye-candy to drool over. The unique angle of Korean shamanism and having a horror film centered around yoga was innovative.
The movie had so much promise, especially with Eugene as its lead star and the hype surrounding it. Yet, the film never comes together, as asking the audience to wait a near-eternity to be scared is a borefest waiting to happen. Well, at least there are hot chicks in the film, right?
Watch this film if…
…you like to twiddle your thumbs for 40 minutes before anything worthwhile happens.