If i were to comment on The Voice in terms of shock value, it would rate pretty low. For someone who is frightened easily by blood and gore, in that regard, I wasn’t so blown away. The aspect of the movie that actually really interested me was first, the progression of Young-Eon from victim to monster and second, how they tackled the horrors of forgetting a loved one or even loss itself.
At first, I was actually slightly bored over the pace of the movie – it was slow and almost repetative – leaving me wondering where all this would eventually lead (and that they would just get to it already). After the credits had rolled and I had time to think about it, I had realized that it was almost necessary that the pacing was slow as to allow the audience to really get to know the characters, and especially to sympathize with Young-Eon, the protagonist. The revealing of Young-Eon as the monster in all of this only became devastating because, in the beginning, you were actually rooting for her to keep her voice. Sun-min giving her up and forgetting her would have been devastating to us in the beginning, in my opinion. But it is because they helped us build sympathy towards Young Eon that the revelation of her true nature was such a source of horror. This showed great direction by Equan Choi and great acting also by most, if not all, principal actors.
Another source of horror in this film came from realizing how the elements of forgetting and loss can have some horrifying consequences, some even dire. For Park Young-Eon and Hyo-Jung, and the loss of her memory from their friend/loved one would have caused their complete disappearance from their world. By the music teacher’s depression over losing her voice, suicide soon follows. Young Eon becomes angry at Sun-min later on in the film because Sun-min believes soon enough that maybe it would be better for Young Eon to move on and cross over. It was Sun-min’s readiness to forget Young Eon and have her lose her voice that makes her revelation as the monster that much more believable and concrete.
The Voice is definitely a Psychological Horror more than anything. As I had mentioned, the slow pacing and the minimal shocks further pushes us to realize that the horror in this film was not meant to come from the aesthetics but from the actions of the characters themselves. The fear of being forgotten and loss itself can be horrifying enough – even in our daily lives. The character of Young Eon shows us that sometimes, we have a hard time accepting loss, in any form, actually. Whether it be a death, a break up or even a friendship gone sour, loss is hard to come to terms with. It may even cause us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. But through the character of Sun-min we see that sometimes, there is a need to let go, to accept our fate. It is when we refuse to do these that we may see ourselves go from the victim to a monster, as well.