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Cello

South Korea 2005
directed by Lee Woo-cheol
starring Seong Hyeon-a, Jeong Ho-bin, Park Da-an, Jeong Yu-mi
screenplay by Lee Woo-cheol

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Once, Mi-ju (Seon Hyeon-a) was a talented concert cellist, but a car accident in which she was involved and her best friend Tae-yeon (Park Da-an) died changed all that, and nowadays she's just teaching cello, and otherwise leading a normal family life with her husband Jun-ki (Jeong Ho-bin), her two kids Yoon-hye and autistic Yoon-jin, and her outgoing younger sister Kyung-ran.

Then though Mi-ju is attacked by one of her former students who thinks it's Mi-ju's fault that she didn't become a famous concert cellist herself, and who promises revenge. A short time later, autistic Yoon-jin develops an almost unhealthy obsession for a cello, the new housekeper, mute Ji-sook poritively freaks Mi-ju out, and then sister Kyung-ran learns that her fiancé has left her and hangs herself ... or was she killed by some inexplicable force ? Then a recording of Mi-ju and Tae-yeon - who was also a cellist - turns up somewhere, which drives Mi-ju totally over the edge - and when her husband, who has never before heard of Tae-yeon, does a little investigation, he comes to the conclusion that Mi-ju might even have murdered her best friends all these years ago. But the worst is yet to come ...

One day, little Yoon-hye falls off the balcony to her death with a little help of her autistic sister, and since Mi-ju doesn't want the girl blamed for the death, she hides Yoon-hye's body and tries to hide the fact that she's dead even from her husband. Of course, hubby Jun-ki finds the girl's dead body soon enough and now thiinks Mi-ju has murdered her. They get into a little fight, at the end of which Mi-ju accidently kills her husband by pushing him against a nail in the wall ... then the spirit of Tae-yeon appears in front of her, and threatens to kill her daughter Yoon-jin as well. Mi-ju tries to save her daughter by stabbing the spirit, but she accidently stabs her housekeeper instead. Then, Mi-ju goes to her daughter's room and beats her cello to pieces with a golf club since she somehow blames the instrument for everything (it makes sense in the movie), but once she turns she finds the cello intact and Yoon-hye beaten to a pulp ...

Ultimately the spirit of Tae-yeon tries to kill Mi-ju as well when ...

... when Mi-ju wakes up from a coma, she was involved in a car accident (which happened near the beginning of the film) and everything is actually fine, her family is alright, her condition is improving rapidly, and she even can go home in a few days time and resume her normal life ... when suddenly the situations in her dream start repeating themselves in real life, and it seems the spirit of Tae-yeon is indeed after her ...

 

Intelligent ghost story that lives not so much from its special effects (though there are quite a few) but rather from its clever scripts full of plottwists that are at the same time original and make perfect sense in the realm of the ghost story. Apart from that, the film never makes it quite clear if everything is really the work of a ghost or just Mi-ju's subconscious triggered by a bad conscience - until the end of course when everything is revealed to be a dream ... and even the somewhat overused it was just a dream-plot device works in this film here, adding yet another uncanny (though not wholly original) twist to a very unusualgenre story. That the film does not only have a great screenplay but is also well-acted, dilligently directed and full of tension and suspense does of course not hurt one bit either ...

Strongly recommended !!!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD