Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: K-Horror TWO MOONS Scrapes the Bottom of the Barrel

By Pierce Conran

I’m glad that I’m not a particularly big horror buff, because if I was, Korean cinema would seem like a real letdown these days. The last few years have done little to convince anyone of the quality, and frankly necessity, of K-horror. Once a strong niche revenue driver for the industry, with a number of interesting if not always stellar entries finding their way to theaters and DVD, of late about three increasingly lackluster productions get dropped on the marketplace per annum. It’s a story of diminishing returns, as the genre seems to be on the way out. At least until something or someone can come along to save it…

2012’s third K-horror Two Moons, following the soporific Don’t Click and the frustrating Horror Stories, is definitely not the messiah that will save the struggling genre. Director Kim Dong-bin previously made the horrors Ring Virus (1999) and Red Eye (2005), both of which were warmly received by audiences or critics. With pretty much nothing going for it, his latest is one of the worst K-horrors to be released in years.

Three young strangers wake up in the basement of a cabin in the woods (sigh…), not knowing how they got there. They soon venture above ground and after a brief time inspecting the lodgings, two of the group decide to leave and make their way back to civilization but of course they can’t. They return and join the mysterious girl who stayed behind who, as it transpires, possesses some psychic abilities. They soon encounter a deranged older woman who is convinced someone is out to kill them but it’s not long before everyone starts to doubt themselves.

The only intriguing element in the premise, and I use that term very tenuously, is the presence of two moons in the night sky, just as the title suggests. However, it doesn’t take too long to figure out that mystery and you’ll have long since stopped caring before it does.

It’s hard to make a film, let alone a good one and it is only natural that a number of duds wrap production every year. Sometimes you try your best and you come up short, other times your ideas may not be quite as good as you thought they were, fair enough. What I can’t abide however, is an utter lack of effort. Two Moons is about as listless a film as I could imagine. Were it not for my obsessive need to watch every Korean film I can get my hands on, I would have quickly switched to a more productive task, like counting how many peas I have left in my freezer.

Weak performances and threadbare plot aside, there is also nary a scare to be found in this pointless outing. I was a little disturbed to see Park Won-sang appear in it (if only briefly) as this film sadly sullies what was otherwise an impeccable year for him, featuring both Unbowed and National Security. Following one the worst exercises of horror filmmaking to come out of the country in some time, I pray that a film can come along to show us the light, it’s pretty dark down here.


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1 comment:

  1. thanks for the warning. as being a huge Korean film buff the last DVD I bought was No Mercy which has some pretty wicked turns and twist that I DO recommend. glad you are here for the all of us. take care