BOO! DID I SCARE YOU?
Like the first movie, Horror Stories 2 is an anthology of shorts with an interstitial connecting the disparate stories. Se Young (Lee Se Young) has the ability to see into people’s past and read their minds. Late one night, her boss at the insurance company, Manager Park (Park Seong Woong), tries to test her powers and asks her about three cases he suspects of insurance fraud. The cases involve two friends who are waiting to be rescued after falling off the edge of a cliff; three girlfriends who set off on a road trip and become stranded after a car accident; and a young teacher who befriends a student obsessed with black magic and tries to escape from hell.
I never really watched the first Horror Stories except for maybe the first story about the two kids who are home alone. My friends swore that I would find it chilling and while it was spooky, I felt that it could be scarier.
However I was looking forward to this movie for the fact that it’s summer and I could use a good scare and that it had a cast filled with young actors who are currently on the rise. Each of the stories has a different director and has their own unique style.
My favorite short story was the first one, The Cliff, starring Sung Joon and Lee Soo Hyuk as friends who go hiking and fall off the side of a cliff, only to end up on a protruding rock below. It’s a classic horror story that blurs the lines between the will to survive and paranoia. The slow build up from sanity to insanity was what made this story my personal favorite.
Another classic story is the 2nd short, The Pain of Death or Accident, which is about three girls (Kim Seul Gi, Baek Jin Hee, Jung In Sun) who are on a road trip. After buying beer, they head back to their lodging but end up crashing their car in the woods. Despite surviving, they find that one of them is hurt so they look to find help. Discovering that the emergency phone box is broken, the three continue walking and find a mysterious house in the distance. The tale takes a turn for the strange there but despite being a classic tale, I would have prefer a twist to the story that wasn’t so predictable.
The oddball out of the group is Escape. Go Byung Shin (Go Kyung Pyo) is a young teacher at a new school. After he’s humiliated by the students on his first day, he encounters a strange girl obsessed with black magic, Sa Tan Hee (Kim Ji Won). The names of the characters here are all humorous as Byung Shin means moron and Sa Tan is, well Satan. She tells him of a ritual which he performs thinking it’s a silly kid’s superstition and ends up in hell. He tries to find an escape with her help. The story’s tone is one that’s a farfetched, gross comedy. I’ll admit that I found myself cracking up over the bathroom humor even though he’s getting drowned by a sea of blood at the same time.
The interstitial was a flimsy connector between the disparate stories. However, it accomplished what it needed to for the movie and tied the movie in a neat bow. Not all that interesting or deep but does its job.
Rather than a gross, gory story, I wanted a classic horror story like Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone. Clearly this movie caters to this generation’s idea of a scary movie: plenty of gore, but lacks the chill factor. However, for someone who isn’t into scary movies, this might be their ticket.