I was hesitant to call this a review, since I never watch the movie fully. I was thinking of calling this piece a spoiler, but then I wasn’t sure how much I’m going to spoil this. So yes, time to hit that return button if you don’t want to be spoiled for the new Park Bo Young movie, The Silenced, aka Kyungseong High School: Missing Girls.
A brief synopsis to the movie: Set in 1938, Park Bo Young takes on the role of Joo-ran, a young girl who gets transferred to a secluded all-girls boarding school, in the name of recuperating from ill-health. The school’s head-mistress (Uhm Ji Won) is a daggers-in-the-smiles kind of lady, who seems to be involved in the missing girls in her school. It doesn’t help that the trailer was edited in such a way that the whole school is like a bubbling hotpot of nefarious activities.
Now, we know that 1938 is the year where the Japanese nationalistic military begins taking over Korea full-scale, and using the country as a launching pad to invade Manchuria China. I’m a scaredy cat, yet I was (almost) dying to find out what’s going on in the movie. So hurray, when I saw that (Chinese) subs were out recently, and off I go zooming into the last bit of the movie, satisfying my curiosity of what happened. And boy, was I hit with disappointment.
To put it simply, The Silenced is like a non-werewolf version of Park’s movie a few years ago, The Werewolf Boy. Yep, nothing scary, despite alot of blood here and there in the movie, but ultimately it’s a kinda sci-fi movie, with anti-Japanese nationalism sentiments weaved in, and if you would, perhaps also some hints of lesbianism were also thrown in. The overall feel of the first-half of the movie was effectively creepy (which I skipped parts to watch because yeah, I have no guts like that), but the final 20 minutes or so became an outright sci-fi wannabe movie with zombie-like girls, or girls with superhuman strength, fighting against the Japanese authorities.
Do I recommend this? Not really, unless you’re a Park Bo Young fan. It’s not exactly a trashy movie, though I thought the change in genre and directing was a letdown. There’re probably creepier movies out there more worth the chill and time spent.