Asian horror is not unlike most horror in that we encounter the horrible out of a cosmic kind of justice. The premise of Voice is that even as departed spirits we are able to produce a presence, an affect on the people that remember us. The manifestation of which is the voice of Young-Eon on Sun-min.

Asian horror often does play the card of cosmic justice where the so-called victim in the western hemisphere takes on the roles of either the arbiter, the criminal in need of punishment, or even the ghostly witness of the cosmic wrong-doing. But the movie Voice is different in that it not only plays all those character but goes beyond it. It is a movie about wanting to live above all things, despite the impediment death brings. It is about keeping, having and maintaining not only a presence in the world but also having to power to affect changes to the world as proof of not only our existence but of that we live.

The movie puts the idea of a ghost somewhat on the pedestal by making it out to be a pitiable existence. A thing that is able to experience a world but not have the power to change it. As such the ghost is not an object of the horror. The ghost later becomes a horror when it takes on the form of the phantom force setting our world into motion. But beyond that, the ghost as a horror frightens us because it represents exactly that which is out of place in the sensory aspect of our world. But the dynamic of the ghost and the horror it facilitates is different in that unlike physical horrors that are able to penetrate our realities and simply frighten us by being there, the ghost is an experience mitigated by our being receptive to it and in a sense our own fault for being open to it.

The movie presents the ghost as a being of malcontent. The ghost in that regard represents the grappling with of humanity over our own mortality of all things and the Ghost is the hidden projection of wanting to continue even over death. The ghost represents the fear that the lifetimes we live just might be insufficient in time in order to fulfill our desired existence. The ghost then becomes a being characterized by malcontent and ambition over life.

But the movie makes one crucial distinction about the ghosts in Voice; the ghost’s existence and its pre-existence, the point when it was human and alive, are seemingly different phases of its life. It’s almost as if the Ghost is the only phase of existence capable of reflection upon its existence as a ghost and its previous existence. The ghost is able to look back farther in life and as such represents the culmination of a specific person’s being even his mistakes. This almost characterizes our life as a phase of existence devoid of the ability to look back. The ghost is then a representation of regrets and a reminder of things yet done.

The movie plays out a difficult dynamic between the ghost and those that experience it because the identity of the actual victim in the narrative is passed around because of the shadows of doubt. The Asian horror genre as a subset of Horror presents reality as one being with the spiritual at all times, where the horrible lives and resides right underneath our noses.


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