Saturday, December 09, 2006


Beauty is Only Skin Deep

No, this is nothing about that fairy tale with the pumpkin coach, fairy godmother and the glass slippers, but if I were to elaborate, I would have to spoil it for you, which I won't. But don't let curiosity get the better of you, as this movie is not fantastic. It's one of those movies that start off promisingly, before betraying its audience with cheap scare tactics and an incoherent storyline. And that's real horror.

Yoon-hee (To Ji-Won) and Hyun-soo (Shin Se-kyeong) are your ideal mother and daughter. One's a successful plastic surgeon, while the other your dutiful, obedient, and beautiful teenage daughter. Their relationship is like hand in glove, so close you'd think of them more as siblings rather than parent-child. But things start to go wrong (don't they always) when Hyun-soo's friends, whom Yoon-hee has operated on, start to go berserk.

Perhaps it's a warning to audiences, and for those Koreans ladies who don't bat an eyelid when going under the knife, if news reports are to be believed. The only truly scary moments are those scenes in plastic surgery, though somehow, I thought Kim Ki-duk's Time actually had more gore when featuring and describing what goes on during the surgery itself.

It's a tale of two halves, the fist being an attempt to shock audiences with standard scare tactics, which, I admit, did get to me now and then. However, the second half degenerated the movie into mindless mumbo-jumbo melodramatics, and was quite contrived into its forcing its ideas down your throat. Some things begin not to make sense, and while attempts are always presented to explain, you probably won't buy it, not that horror movies are logical to begin with.

The leads are all beautiful, and there is a distinct lack of male presence besides the negligible cop role. But hey, I'm not complaining, though the storyline could have been improved tremendously. I'd recommend you to watch this, only if you're a fan of mediocre Korean horror, on VCD. Watch out for those face off-ish moments!

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