‘Cello’ is Subtle but Powerful (review)

Korean movie, AKA Chello hongmijoo ilga salinsagan. Mi-ju (Hyun-Ah Sung) is a music professor recovering from a car accident in which her friend Tae-yeon (Da-an Park) was killed. Her life takes a turn for the worse after listening to a cassette tape of Tae-yeon and her playing music. Her family is disintegrating, from her sister-in-law Kyung-ran (Jin Woo) to her daughter Yoon-jin, who mysteriously takes up the cello and begins acting odd (like biting her sister for trying to touch the instrument). Meanwhile she also has to contend with a disgruntled former student and a creepy new housekeeper, one of whom is sending threatening texts. Or is it Tae-yeon back for revenge?

cello2
Cello! And goodbye!

First, a warning about the subtitles. Unless you can speak Korean (if you do, congrats), you will need captioning. Unfortunately, in the case of this movie, there are numerous mistakes, the most I’ve ever seen in a foreign movie, most notably Min-ju’s last name alternating from Hong to Song, and characters uttering phrases like “Don’t start?”

There are occasional creepy moments (though none of these come from Tae-yeon, who looks a bit too much like Morticia from The Addams Family).

cello1
“그녀는 오싹하고 이상하다 신비 롭고 무서운”

The opening sequence shows Mi-ju being revived after the accident; she’s broken and bloody, but the scene is overlaid with peaceful cello music. The text messages are also eerie in their vague but somehow threatening way.

Overall, it’s good watchin. The acting is decent from even the young actors, it’s not extremely predictable, and it’s fairly disturbing. Until the last 20 minutes or so, when the action really picks up, it’s slow, but not boring. Give it a look if you’re in the mood for a thoughtful ghost story.

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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