Drama Review – The Guest (OCN, 2018)

sab asked if I can include in this review that Show should just consist of Episode 1 and 16. The overall sentiment of all of us here at this blog is, Show was way too long. I thought it should have been 12 episodes at most. The first few episodes were so good, intense and creepy at all the correct places; the sense of thrill weakened as Show dragged on, and every week felt like just like a creepy version of Reply 1994/1988: Guess who is the vessel of Park Il Do.

I’m not a fan of horror, in fact I avoid watching because I have an overactive imagination. However Show isn’t that scary and I can mostly watch without peering through my fingers. The possession and exorcism scenes were rather well done, although every time a victim throws up all the water, I can’t help but LOL. Show turns out to be unintentionally funny, unfortunately. I do appreciate the effort the crew made in each exorcism scene, and all the hard work the artistes put in portraying victims of possession.

The ending words from the writers provided food for thought, making Show more than just a horror drama. Indeed, is the “guest” from the Eastern Sea really the one who’s evil, or the humans on land the ones who’re the real devil? The guest can only possess those with hatred (or those with spiritual powers like the little girl or Hwa-pyung), manipulating them to carry out evil deeds. The guest claims it takes on different names each time it comes to the land, and it has been coming since Shilla era. Whenever there’s a huge evildoer, he/she was actually the vessel of the guest.

The overall concept of Show is commendable in this sense, not unlike Harry Potter and his friends uniting to take down Voldemort. There’re many times I felt Show is some kind of a remake of Harry Potter (even the abbrievations of the lead characters are “HP”) – the trio of protagonists (1 girl and 2 guys), the main evil and his minions. There’s also many red herrings and even the demise of Priest Yang felt a wee bit like Snape. And come to think of it, the way Park Hong Joo commits evil acts reminds me of Dolores Umbridge.

I wouldn’t say Show turned out to be a disappointment, but it certainly failed to live up to expectations (I came in not knowing what to expect actually). The length of Show was definitely its weakness, and I’m not so sure if I’d want to watch another season of exorcism that ends with the victims throwing up water like the Merlion. I don’t mind however, more triomance of our protagonists.

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