One Voice

Voice was a more traditional-type horror film I think as compared to most of the other films we have been watching recently for class, Rec aside. Despite it being a Korean horror film, many of its elements were congruous to the traditional western type of horror films that we are used to seeing on TV and in the movies. If I were to tune into this movie and watch a ten-minute segment of it, I would immediately be able to identify it as a horror. This is opposed to if I watched a ten-minute segment of Ginger Snaps or Grace, which I would not normally readily identify as a horror in the layman’s sense of the word.

An example of a traditional element of horror seen in Voice is the sense of fatalism and entrapment. This is perhaps most apparent in the case of Young-eon. Initially as a ghost, she is free to roam around as she likes, but quickly discovers that she is trapped inside the school. This enhances the feeling that she has no escape from her plight; that she is doomed to walk the halls of her school forever. This feeling of entrapment is taken a step further in that Young-eon cannot be sensed by anyone except for Sun-min. Essentially, Young-eon is trapped within herself, unable to interact with anyone. This isolation is what leads her to hold onto Sun-min so tightly, as Sun-min is her only link to the outside world. Sun-min is the only thing left saving Young-eon from complete entrapment.

Towards the middle of the movie, it is revealed by Choh-Ah that ghosts only remember what they want to. This throws the whole movie into a state of flux as the viewers try to piece together what is real and what is not. From this point onward, we can see just how deep Young-eon is trapped within herself. Young-eon is revealed as the puppeteer behind most of the horror-acts in the film, which she does not even remember. Essentially, she is the cause of her own horror.

Voice is also similar to other horror films in that the characters that experience horror are feminine. In fact if I’m not mistaken, there was not a single male character in the entire movie. Many aspects of femininity were tackled. The one that was perhaps most evident was the relationship between two females in the context of a female school. Lesbianism is obviously repressed in that environment for the obvious reason of the friction and unease it will cause. For example, a rumor of a lesbian relationship between Young-eon and the music teacher spread like wildfire throughout the school.

There are many other similarities that can be found in Voice to that of other Hollywood movies. I think that these similarities point to the assumption that there are certain universal themes of horror that transcend race, culture, and religion. An example of this would be the sense of entrapment and repression. These universal themes of horror point to a shared sense of fear within every human being.

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