April 5, 2009

Witchboard: Burning Down the Schoolhouse

For the young school girls of Ahn Byeong-ki's Witchboard, fear of possession is a trifle when compared to the terror of having one demonic teen (Lee Se-eun) hypnotize you into committing suicide by placing a plastic bag over your head and lighting it on fire. Nor is the local psychic (Choi Jeong-yun) safe when confronted by the deceptively passive new art teacher (Kim Gyu-ri) who herself is possessed by the spirit of the dead mother (Kim again) whose child was murdered by the townsfolk 30 years ago because they hated how the kid looked with glaucoma. Sound discombobulating? Well, there's another teacher (Choi Seong-min) -- studies unknown -- with cheekbones as high as his moral standards who shares the audience's sentiments. He's trying to figure it all out but he's always one step behind the carnage. Plus his dad won't tell him the town's ugly secret. Heads burn. Buildings explode. A body is bludgeoned by a pair of scissors over and over again. (That part's really bloody!) Yet teacher never saves a soul except those of the murderers themselves. This is the price that comes with being uninformed. It makes sense that the subtext of a movie set in a high school would advocate educating yourself promptly.

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