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Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

So Yi Hyun (Actor) | Kim Jeong Min (Director) | Lee Jong Hyuk (Actor) | Ahn Byung Ki (Producer)
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Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10 (5)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Lamenting the state of the horror genre in Korea, director Ahn Byung Ki of APT and Phone said he was the only one left making horror films who was truly interested in the genre. But he didn't just come to the table with empty words; he gave a chance to like-minded people to do the genre justice, producing One Day Suddenly. Ahn created four different horror stories, all adapted from Yoo Il Han's works and exploring different subtexts of the horror genre, and gave four young directors their first shots at directing true horror. Directed by Kim Jeong Min, Dark Forest stars the up-and-coming actress So Yi Hyun (Revenge, Hyena) and Lee Jong Hyuk (Radio Dayz, A Day For An Affair). Enjoying an excursion into a prohibited forest, Woo Jin, Jung Ah and other friends suddenly find themselves stranded in a place where no mobile phone works. But there's something much scarier looming in the darkest corners of the forest.
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Technical Information

Product Title: Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 心慌慌.死清光 (VCD) (香港版) 心慌慌.死清光 (VCD) (香港版) ある日突然 四つの恐怖物語 Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: Woods of Death Woods of Death Woods of Death Woods of Death Woods of Death
Artist Name(s): So Yi Hyun (Actor) | Lee Jong Hyuk (Actor) 蘇怡賢 (Actor) | 李 鐘赫 (Actor) 苏怡贤 (Actor) | 李 钟赫 (Actor) ソ・イヒョン (Actor) | イ・ジョンヒョク (Actor) 소이현 (Actor) | 이종혁 (Actor)
Director: Kim Jeong Min 金政民 金政民 キム・ジョンミン 김정민
Producer: Ahn Byung Ki 安兵基 安兵基 アン・ビョンギ 안병기
Release Date: 2008-08-11
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): VCD
Duration: 98 (mins)
Publisher: Winson Entertainment Distribution Ltd.(HK)
Other Information: 2VCDs
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011662606

Product Information

Director: KIM Jeong-min
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

March 21, 2007

This professional review refers to One Day Suddenly : 4 Horror Stories Limited Edition
One Day Suddenly is a collection of four horror films put together and produced by top Korean genre director Ahn Byung Ki, the man who was himself responsible for terrifying audiences with the blockbuster hits Phone, Bunshinsaba, and the recent APT. The four films here are all based upon works by Yoo Il Han and were directed by newcomers who were no doubt selected for their enthusiasm for the genre, something which Ahn has been complaining about being lacking in Korean cinema of late. Although the prospect of such a package, coming at a time when the form has reached a distinct stagnation in Korea may not sound too appealing, One Day Suddenly does offer a set of films from different sub-genres, only one of which is a straightforward tale of long haired female ghost inspired vengeance. Thankfully, as well as being vaguely original, the four films are all above average and are certainly comparable to many other recent efforts, with two being better than the majority of the last crop of big budget Korean horror releases.

The first film is Jung Jong Hoon's February 29, a tale told in flashback by a patient in a mental asylum about a late night highway tollbooth worker called Ji Yeon who is one night passed a ticket covered in blood by a mysterious driver. After she learns that someone was killed at another booth earlier that night, she comes to believe that a death curse connected to the date February 29th may in fact be true, and that the murderous ghost of a female prisoner killed in a bus crash some years back may be haunting the roads. As she investigates further, she is beset by strange events and visions, leading to the expected shocking revelations.

February 29 is probably the weakest of the four films due to its slow pace and confused plotting, though it manages to earn a passing grade thanks to an eerie atmosphere and a few decent scare scenes. The night time tollbooth scenes are the best parts, with Jung making good use of the creepy, isolated setting and working in some effectively surreal touches to put the viewer in the protagonist's shoes. Unfortunately, as with many other films which are mainly based around remote locations, he feels the need to fill the long stretches of silence with clumsy bursts of the main character talking inanely to herself, often informing the viewer of the blatantly obvious by commenting on things seeming strange. Things go downhill towards the end, with the last act coming across as confusing rather than ambiguous, though thanks to a short running time and some decent direction, it remains a competent example of genre film making.

Next up is Hidden Floor directed by Kwon Il Soon, an obvious mixture of the key modern Asian ghost films Dark Water and Ju-on: the Grudge with a dash of APT and Phone thrown in for good measure, possibly as a nod of thanks or flattery to Ahn. The set up is certainly familiar, with a single mother called Min Young moving into a new apartment with her young daughter, only to find that the apparently non-existent fourth floor may be inhabited by a couple of murderous ghosts. All the familiar motifs of the form are present and correct, with poor Min being tormented by strange noises and visions while the increasing pressure from her job puts her relationship with her daughter under serious strain.

Whilst there is nothing new whatsoever about Hidden Floor with pretty much every scene having been seen somewhere else, Kwon does at least have the good sense to keep the action coming thick and fast. Most of the frights come from sudden screeching noises or sudden appearances of the ghost (long haired, naturally) in the background, though there are a few startling splashes of blood, especially during the surprisingly brutal final scenes. Although the film lacks any real driving mystery, it still manages to engage, mainly due to the viewer being amused by the way that the heroine is incredibly slow on the uptake, missing obvious clues to the reasons behind the clearly non-accidental deaths and remaining bizarrely oblivious to another character who is hilariously suspicious throughout, almost to the point of winking at the camera and saying "hey, I have a secret". All of this works well to make Hidden Floor entertaining enough to rise above its complete lack of originality and to provide ninety minutes of lowest common denominator ghost fun for anyone not yet fed up with the form.

The third film, Kim Eun Kyung's D-Day, is a slice of schoolgirl horror and is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Set in a boarding academy which offers a year of intensive pre-college entrance exam study, it follows a group of four roommates who gradually crack up under the intense pressure of the prison-like atmosphere, made worse by the fact that the school appears to be haunted. After one girl goes completely off the rails she begins experiencing bloody visions of corpse-littered corridors which seem to indicate a horrible incident in the school's past, one which appears to be in danger of repeating itself in the present day.

As well as being superior to the other entries in the One Day Suddenly collection, D-Day is actually better than the Whispering Corridors series and other school-set films from which it takes its inspiration, providing a far more tense and condemnatory picture of the real life horrors of the Korean education system. After an ironic start, which suggests the academy to be a friendly, inspirational place, Kim wastes no time in showing that the opposite is in fact true, with the teachers resembling prison guards and the students being stripped of individuality and forced to do nothing other than work. The tension is added to by the film's structure, which shows times on screen detailing the students' daily routine, as well as counting down the days to the dreaded exam day. As the film progresses, the characters of the four roommates gradually change, and their relationships worsen, and it is arguably this which provides the film with most of its horror rather than the supernatural, which tends to intrude rather than dominate. Of course, in the final reel everything goes to hell, and although a little clumsily handled, the conclusion is effectively bloody, providing a fittingly bleak end.

The final film, Dark Forest, directed by Kim Jung Min is basically a Korean take on The Evil Dead with a group of five youngsters venturing into the titular woods for a weekend of fun only to find themselves falling prey to an evil curse. One by one they are claimed by the unseen force, which has the unpleasant habit of transforming them into zombie-like demons who can only be killed by bodily dismemberment. Their only hope is the fact that one of their number has the mysterious power to predict death, though sadly this only seems to come into play seconds before someone's demise, adding little more than a touch of bloody irony to the proceedings.

Although a little slow moving to begin with, Dark Forest is very entertaining, mainly due to Kim not stinting on the gore, with plenty of stabbings, axe chopping, and other delightful forms of mutilation. The classic woodsy setting is evocatively employed and makes for a nice change from the usual ghost shenanigans, with the characters themselves being daft enough to make for perfect demon-fodder, leaving the viewer free to enjoy the film as a visceral experience. Kim's direction is tight, with a few flourishes here and there to keep things interesting, and though the characters do tend to spend a ridiculously long time expiring, usually so that they can blurt out one final melodramatic speech, this only adds to the amusement. As such, like D-Day, Dark Forest stands as one of the better recent examples of Korean horror, and helps to make One Day Suddenly a must see package for all fans of the form, even those who have grown tired of the genre's lack of innovation.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Dark Forest (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10 (5)

Miki
See all my reviews


January 30, 2010

This customer review refers to Forbidden Floor (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
A bit Boring Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
I found this film to be a bit boring and my mind kept wandering. The acting seems a bit wooden and the beginning is a bit vague. I thought at first it was going to follow along the lines of Dark Water but it didnt. Its not jumpy and didnt even creep me out. The actress's bony skeletal frame was scarier than the film. Never seen anyone so skinny!

It does improve towards the end and the storyline picks up when you find out who is causing the haunting and why. Its a film that I would watch if I really had nothing much else to do.

I think it depends on how easily you get creeped out/frightened etc. Not one that hard core horror fans would really enjoy but would probably scare those who get scared quite easily.
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Rhoda
See all my reviews


February 11, 2008

This customer review refers to Hidden Floor (DVD) (Taiwan Version)
Quite scary Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
This movie made me shout maybe 3 or 4 times. It's really scary especially when the image of the lady with the long hair comes out.

Nice one!!!
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numinair
See all my reviews


March 13, 2007

This customer review refers to One Day Suddenly : 4 Horror Stories Limited Edition
1 people found this review helpful

ApPariTions on 4th Floor Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
This is my second but last post on this for "Forbidden Floor". As for the movie its a very good debut from Kwon Il Soon for this series of HD films. The CGI effects, although used sparingly, are cetainly effective considering the apparent budget and the quality is quite high considering. The two main actors Seo Hyung Kim (mum) and Yoo Jung Kim (daughter) are excellent in this, too!.

I read that Ahn Byung-Ki was producer on this movie and I could tell by the opener - the dramatic prelude sequence that kicks off this film brings his film "Phone" to mind by the elevator scene and anyone who saw that film will realize the immediacy that film had. This film does have a similar feel to "Dark Water" although the patch in this film is represented by the hidden and mysterious 4th Floor (a superstition that the number 4 in Chinese sounds like the word death in Korean pronunciation, so South Korean high rise blocks rarely have a 4th floor) that opens up some ghostly apparitions below the room the mother and child occupy in the apartment high rise they both move into. To say any more about the mystery room would spoil the plot, but I can say that the revenge factor in this film, due to the nature of the person's demise (no spoiler there, there has to be a demise if there is a ghost film), is more convincing and logical than some similar made films. Even though the ghost is garbed in Sadako's outfit.

Its another good film with atmosphere, too. Erie juxtaposed corridors of past and present and unwavering pacing keeps this film abrupt to the core and you rarely feel that the film shifts it plot tactics. Its a good script with a well meaning story of events and like the other film "Roomates/D-Day" is routed within Korean society mores than merely a supernatural ghosty flick. It s a good film and a pity that first time directors who begin with horror/ghost movies rarely return to make another one (apart from Ahn Byung-Ki of course) Worth seeing!
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numinair
See all my reviews


February 26, 2007

This customer review refers to One Day Suddenly : 4 Horror Stories Limited Edition
1 people found this review helpful

D-Day - Good Movie! Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Although I have only seen D-Day (Roomates) from this set so far, and the rating can only be for this, I found this to be a fairly good movie, similar to the high school ghost movie "Whispering Corridors" (not connected to this series though). Although this is a horror, the film's main emphasis is on the pressures of high school achievements, as the high school girls in this having to re-take their college entrance exams after failing them first run. The film certainly address the harsh teaching methods that can be used on young people (or were) and hopefully are not used in times to come. The cast, especially the young ones, performed excellently and although a budgeted movie and a directors debut, its a very well made film. If anyone liked "Whispering Corridors" - "Voice", I would recommend this set for this alone. But with 3 other movies in the package (and some good recommendations from Rain here), its well worth the purchase. Hope to see more debut horrors like this!!
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rain
See all my reviews


January 21, 2007

This customer review refers to One Day Suddenly : 4 Horror Stories Limited Edition
1 people found this review helpful

4 horror stories Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
29 feb: this story is not bad - able to create a creepy atmosphere. one of the best stories of the 4.

forbidden floor: seems very similar to dark waters. mother and daughter just moving in to a new building. not scary at all. a bit boring.

roommates (aka d day): interesting plot with an all female cast, although it is pretty predictable.

dark forest: awful movie, absolutely the worst of the 4. bad acting, bad bad story.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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