Voice: Mysteries

“Voice” is a Korean horror film where the aspiring singer named Young-eon is mysteriously killed and becomes a ghost as she tries to recall what caused her death.  I have never been a fan of Asian horror films or Asian films in general. Shortly after watching the movie, I still refuse to change my mind and I shall stick to my belief that Asian films have plots which are quite superficial and almost comparable to each other.  In my opinion, “Voice” is no exception to this since it tries to resemble one of those Korean dramas shown in television. Although the movie was also relatively profound, I think that the number of unnecessary flashbacks which actually confused me made the film very distinct in a negative way. Nevertheless, to be honest, I was entirely bored trying to watch the movie to the point that I almost fell asleep. I truly felt that the movie was leaning towards the mystery/drama genre that it lacked and fell short in the horror category.

Initially, the film opened with the mysterious death of Young-eon, who was killed through a music sheet cutting her throat. I found this scene strange and unrealistic since it was my first time to encounter someone dying because of a paper cut. The following day, it was revealed that Young-eon has become a ghost and therefore, invisible. Oddly, nobody but her best friend Sun-min could hear her voice so she was the only one who could help her unravel the mystery behind her death. Cho-ah, a girl who can hear the voices of the dead, also mentioned that ghosts only remember what they wish to remember so Young-eon’s memory may be invalid. After Young-eon’s original dead body was found in an elevator, it can be assumed that she was just unconscious after all and a student must have accidentally killed her. Several flashbacks which I could not understand then began to occur to Young-eon regarding the life she had before her death. These flashbacks included her mother as well as the music teacher committing suicide. In reality, Young-eon really wanted to kill the teacher so that Hyo-Jung’s voice would never be heard again. Hyo-Jung was actually the ghost who cut the throat of Young-eon using the music sheet as a result of losing her voice and being forgotten by the music teacher whom she loved. She was a former student who also died in the said elevator and had a similar voice as Young-eon. In the final scene, because of her desperation to live again, Young-eon usurps Sun-min’s body as she talks to her own reflection and to Sun-min’s mother.

In general, the film attempts to understand not only female relationships but also the psychology of a woman.  Lesbianism was also implied by the relationship between the music teacher and one of her students. On one hand, it can be drawn from the movie was that Young-eon struggled to find her true identity as an effect of her psychological disorder. David G. Hartwell’s major streams of horror particularly horror being psychological and fantastic were also manifested in the film through the presence of the ghost of Hyo-Jung, a supernatural and unknown being. I believe that the reality that life after death is not as pleasant as it seems also made the storyline of “Voice” a little more complicated. The thought that a person’s death was no longer remembered was the real horror conveyed by the movie. Finally, the film concludes with several unanswered questions such as how the psyche of women and life after death both continue to remain mysteries.

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