Voice it out

Voice was the first Asian horror movie the class got to watch. Having watched many movies of this genre, I was kind of disappointed when I heard that it was a Korean movie and a part of the Whispering Corridors series because I have seen the preceding films of the series namely Whispering Corridors and Wishing Stairs. The plots of these movies required some time for digestion as opposed to the in-your-face horror movies that Thailand and Japan makes. The films in the franchise have the same setting of an all-girls school and the stories are influenced by this type of environment. What is notable about these films is that they tackle issues that are rarely talked about in the open but are acknowledged to be true problems in the environment of an all-girls school. Since Korean censorship is particularly strict about portraying their culture in a bad light, the Whispering Corridors series was both liked and hated by the Koreans for its willingness to expose the flaws of their society.

Voice talks about the relationship of a student Young-eon and her music teacher which turns sour after Young-eon was killed. At first, her friend Sun-min thought it was the teacher who killed her, but as the story progresses, we see that the sweet-faced protagonist is not what she seems. Talking about this film at a horror movie fan’s standpoint, there is nothing scary about this film, in fact, the concept of the protagonist being killed by a piece of paper at the start of the movie ruined what good impressions one may have about the film. As what was discussed, this movie depends on the qualities of a female actress to bring out the emotions needed, particularly Korean females. Their strict society represses all explicit matter during their teenage years which makes them seem more innocent compared to teenage Filipinos who are more outspoken. Hearing voices from the dead or facing problems at home are not things you normally keep to yourself but since their society frowns at people who speak about such things, they only shared it with their closest friend. During this period of physical and mental changes in an environment without males, normal relationships with friends of the same gender may turn into something else. As this is yet another issue that is not approved by their society, they are struck by both guilt and longing for maintaining such a relationship. Now that I have thought about it, there are some parts of the story I do not really understand because I have not been placed in a similar environment. The concept of hearing the voice from someone close to you who is dead and a ghost not visible to the human eye is also something uncommon, even in the standards of horror films, which brings me to the conclusion that this movie is not a horror film as it is a film about the unhealthy relationships fostered by this type of environment. Their repressive society makes students cautious about sharing their personal lives which is why they only share this with their closest friend. If their friend forgets about them, they lose someone who can speak out for them which counts as an extension of their own voice.  

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