Thursday, July 25, 2013

Film Review: Voices (2007)

Voices (Review)
South Korea/2007
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...manages to deliver some spine-tingling scares and tons of blood..."

Ga-In (Yoon Jin-seo) is a student leading a seemingly normal life. However, after a vicious accident at her aunt's wedding, Ga-In begins to believe she is in danger as her friends and family start killing each other one by one. The only clue are the phrases they murmur while attacking, the voices that may be possessing them...

Voices, or Someone Behind You, is a supernatural slasher. The story feels very traditional and even cliché as it follows a formulaic path. Along this generic path, however, there are plenty of scares to be had. A few effective jump-scares here and there, a couple suspenseful fights, and gallons of blood blend to make a solid horror film. There are also some creative, eerie visuals to be seen making it a little more than your typical Asian ghost. Much of the film, despite moving at a slow pace, relies on its violence and jump-scares. The film builds up some character and atmosphere, but not so much that you'll feel fully immersed into this world.

The concept uses psyhcological aspects to adds some mystery into the film; what's causing the sudden murders? I had to ask myself if this would end up a ghost story or a psychological story. However, many of the significant events are treated as insignificant - lacking further explanation and reasoning; for example, you're attacked and you escape, but that issue isn't further detailed - maybe I'm asking for too much, so I digress. (and I don't fault the film much for this, either.) Unfortunately, the film's ending lacks proper explanation. You'll eventually understand the twists, but they aren't effective anyway. It's the type of twist that's hard to predict for all of the wrong reasons. Aside from being confusing and ineffective, the ending, the third act in fact, lacks impact due to the lack of explanation; in fact, one of the twists is explained in a short flashback that doesn't fit well with the film anyway.

The acting is great, overall. Yoon Jin-seo is fantastic as the lead, always hitting the right emotion - never underwhelming or overacting. The rest of the cast is believable, as well; the students feel like students, the family interact like a family, etc. The film has some great cinematography, especially during a particularly bloody and red scene. The music is well-fitted, but nothing special or exceptional. The writing often feels like it takes the easy way out, but it does make for an entertaining film.

Overall, Voices, or Someone Behind You, is a good horror film. Using elements of supernatural and slasher, Voices manages to deliver some spine-tingling scares and tons of blood; the storytelling may be formulaic, the story may often be too slow, and the ending is unfulfilling,
but Voices is moderately entertaining. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental or stream otherwise.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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