[Review] Chilling Romance – 오싹한 연애


I don’t know how many titles I’ve tried to come up with for this review.  Spellbound by a Medium, Tricks of the Trade to Dating a Medium, Haunted by a Medium…  I just returned to my first title.  As played as it sounds, it fits.  Ah, what better way to spend the summer than watching a scary movie?  It’s part romantic comedy and part scary movie.  Be aware that things pop out at you but overall the movie’s not very scary.  It’s a little dark, a little sad and a lot campy in that vein of Hello Ghost.

Yeo Ri (Son Ye Jin) has been able to see ghosts ever since she was in high school.  When they appear strange things happen to the people around her so she chooses to isolate herself from others.  One day, a magician named Jo Goo (Lee Min Ki) approaches about an idea to do a horror-themed magic show after seeing her in a dark alleyway.

She works with him for over a year but declines every offer to go out for after work drinks with the entire production team.  Finally, Jo Goo resolves to not backing down and calls out every single one of her excuses so she relents.  She begins to slowly open up to Jo Goo and he starts noticing that strange things begin happening around him.

Lee Min Ki and Son Ye Jin are positively cute together.

Although Yeo Ri’s life is invaded by these unwanted guests, she tries to remain positive about being all alone.  Even her mother and younger sister abandoned her.

And although Jo Goo has this horror magic show, in reality he’s terrified of ghosts and generally things that go bump in the night.

I think it’s interesting to note that Jo Goo gains courage and finds heart through Yeo Ri and Yeo Ri is able to come out of her shell through Jo Goo.

Yeo Ri started seeing ghosts in high school after an accident that occurs during a school field trip.  The EMT was able to bring Yeo Ri back to life while her best friend, Joo Hee, died.  Since then, she’s been able to see ghosts but Ghost Joo Hee has also prevented Yeo Ri from getting close to anyone.

It’s not fair to say that Yeo Ri’s completely alone.  She’s got one friend in Min Jung (Kim Hyun Sook) who then introduces her to another friend, Yoo Jin (Lee Mi Do) but they’re only friends by phone as Yeo Ri can’t bear to have another person affected by the horrors of her life.

These two are hilarious as Yeo Ri’s sidekicks.  They fill her in on the ins and outs of dating as she doesn’t really have any experience since she had to give up on that right at a prime age for dating.  The kissing lesson they give Yeo Ri is especially funny.

Jo Goo on the other hand is a bit coldhearted.  Women are available to him but he’s not willing to be available to them.  He’s that way with his girlfriend Yoon Ji Min.

He’s very social but just doesn’t let people get too close to him by choice.  He doesn’t really confide in anyone with the exception of his manager, Pil Dong (Park Chul Min).

He’s the one that notices Yeo Ri first because he’s intrigued by her.  However, he doesn’t realize his feelings for her until he sets her up one a date with a friend (Lee Hyun Jin).

Fortunately for Jo Goo, the friend is unwilling to deal with the eeriness that goes along with dating Yeo Ri like Jo Goo is.

The comedy and, at times, the absurdity plays a big part in the movie.  For most of it, it made the movie charming.

However, there were tiny moments when it took me out of the emotional momentum of the film.  For instance, when Yeo Ri agrees to meet with Jo Goo, they decide to meet at the park where there’s a magic show going on and Ghost Joo Hee has her hands (more than 2) all over Yeo Ri, stunning even the bystanders.  Jo Goo swoops in to save the day by making playing cards appear using his slight of hand.  One by one, each of the hands disappear.  It’s a strange moment.  I thought Jo Goo was scared by ghosts and then to have him save HER just doesn’t seem consistent with the character and the story.  He’s saving her by socializing her and showing her love.  His magic tricks isn’t the real magic here.

The score for the movie is jazzy and while I don’t like it when the music dictates the emotions of a film or drama, I like that here the music adds another layer of charm and humor.  The instrumental tracks are composed by Lee Jae Jin aided by a couple vocal tracks that give it that romantic comedy lightness.

EZ’M – Falling In Love

이지엠(EZ’M) – Falling In Love

All in all, the story is exceedingly charming and funny, as these people have to figure out how to date with that supernatural obstacle looming over their heads.



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