고死 : 피의 중간고사 / Gosa
A chi-chi private high school, which actively encourages cutthroat competition among the student body by, for instance, publicly displaying their exam score rankings, selects twenty elite members and organizes a boot camp of sorts, to prepare for an international student exchange event.
To their chagrin, the students, including rebellious heroine Ina (the singer Nam Gyu-ri), her timid best buddette Myong-hyo (Son Yeo-eun) and her wannabe-boyfriend Hyun (the sit-com idol Kim Beom), and the teachers, uptight English teacher So-young (Yoon Jeong-hee, TV's Happy Woman) and popular Korean instructor Chang-wook (Lee Beom-soo, City of Violence) find themselves stuck inside the school. Somebody is kidnapping students one by one, in the order of their midterm score ranks, and killing them. The gruesome ways in which they die are broadcast via the school AV system: the only way to prevent the hideous murders is to find correct solutions to the culprit's "exam questions" in time.
Cast: Lee Beom-Su, Yun Jeong-Hee, Nam Gyu-Ri, Kim Beom
Director: Director Chang
For one, after reading the summary and watching the first five minutes, I got the impression that it was going to be a lot like Battle Royale or even Saw. Instead it turned out to be just another Whispering Corridors-type clone, and not a very good one. The concept seemed original at first glance (at least for a typical Korean horror movie); however, what starts out as a promising premise is quickly overshadowed by a ton of horror movie clichés, and many unanswered (and stupid) explanations.
Personally, I liked the idea of students being kidnapped one by one, and how the class was being forced to work together and solve the puzzles in order to save them. Unfortunately, the writer and director started taking it in a different direction shortly after the game was introduced. Rather than having the class play the game like it's set up, it follows the typical horror trend... students rebel, groups start to split up, a crazy kid stalks the campus... and the game becomes secondary with only two or three people actually bothering to play. Instead we're forced to sit through some dumb investigation while several of the main characters search for the culprit.
That, and I STRONGLY disliked the ending...
First, to clear up any confusion, here's a short summary of what occurs:
END OF SPOILERS
Still, I can't say it's exactly a bad movie. The acting is top-notch, and the directing is pretty good (though the constant shaking during some scenes was distracting). And at least you can tell they tried to make an interesting script. I just wish they had kept it more supernatural, and not tired so hard to explain the reasons behind the quiz/puzzles.
Oh well, at least I finally got to see Kim Bum in something. Ever since I heard he's going to be in the Korean Drama version of Hana Yori Dango, I've been curious to see how he acts. And in this movie, he was one of my favorite characters.
Overall, it's not a bad movie to watch if you feel like watching a horror movie. Just don't expect it to be any different from the hundreds of other Korean horror movies out there. Watch it only for entertainment, not to find the next breakthrough in Korean horror.