“Voice” wasn’t really what I expected it to be. This is the first Asian horror film shown in class. I haven’t seen much of the Asian horror film genre but from what I gather most of it involves ghosts chasing around people that have angered them or have people who’ve been cursed. This is the first time I’ve seen the ghost that is the actual protagonist of the story.
There are a lot of questions that the film seems to leave unanswered. I personally have a problem with the plot twist. Towards the end of the film, they suddenly spring it on the audience that it was Young-eon who was responsible for everything. The plot twist seemed a little bit out of the blue for me. It wasn’t really consistent with what the film has been showing as Young-eon’s character. They’ve portrayed her as this sweet, kind girl who cares about her mother and then all of a sudden they say she is responsible her mother’s death. Some sources I have read about the film say that Young-eon had a multiple personality disorder. But there isn’t a lot foreshadowing that there might be something wrong with Young-eon. So I kind of found it quite hard to believe that she could suddenly change and drive her mother to commit suicide. The film didn’t quite explain how she could do that and how she could even develop the multiple personality disorder. Sure, her mother’s medical situation might have driven her insane, but the film gave absolutely no clue that she couldn’t handle her mother’s condition. Her character was too sweet, rational and squeaky-clean. It just simply was not that believable. For me, Young-eon turning out to be a psychopath seemed a little bit more like a plug for a hole in the plot.
Like the previous films, “Grace” and “Ginger Snaps”, this film was centered on the relationships of women with each other. A relationship, where in these women almost treat each other like family. In these stories, these relationships are tested by the events that put them at odds with each other. In “Voice” though, the entire film is completely dominated by female characters. They do not even interact with any male characters extensively. There are only brief interactions with teachers. The only memorable moment where male characters were involved was the moment two men found Young-eon’s body in the elevator. This is interesting considering what we’ve discussed in class about female characters as the person subjected to the horror experience. Now the entire cast of characters is female and these characters are pit against each other. Because there are no male characters that are perceived as a threat, all the characters are basically on the same level. The perception involving horror film that female characters are physically less capable of defending themselves in comparison to male characters, especially if the threat is masculine/male in nature, affects the audience’s impression of the film. All of the characters are female and the initial protagonist is even on the same plane as the antagonist. They’re both immaterial beings. The real horror is not found then in a typical situation where the antagonist is a threat to the protagonist. The film relies on aspects to deliver their horror.