Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WTF South Korea?!?: Bunshinsaba- Witch Board

This is basically the Gumbo Version of Japanese/Korean Horror Films.  Today's Film is Bunshinsaba: Witch Board, a 2004 Horror Film from South Korea.  This is not to be confused with the Trilogy of similarly-titled Chinese Films.  One source lists them as Remakes, while the other does not.  I dunno- haven't seen them (yet).  The Story involves an angry spirit, girls committing suicide and some hapless Detective trying to solve the crime.  I've only seen a handful of K-Horror Films and even I've seen this one- or have I?  While it plays like other Films, there are still some interesting things to talk about.  It has some neat visuals and was actually more engaging than I expected.  To find out more, read on...
A group of teenage girls do a Ceremony at their School to summon a spirit.  Of course, they don't think that it will actually work.
A new Teacher shows up and takes Roll, calling on Student #29...who doesn't exist.  Quick- where's Sadako?
A rash of mysterious suicides begin to take place.  The girls go to a public place- around School-, place a trash bag on their heads, coat it in Gasoline and then light their heads on fire.

It is not a song making them do it though (nor is it the wind)- it is a ghost girl (see her hand in the shot).
It all relates to this blind girl who got picked on at School 30 years earlier (by the kids' parents).

Wait- the acts of the Parents as teens comes to affect their kids?  I saw this one in Spain (and a dozen other places).
A woman is here to use her psychic powers to channel the spirits and see what happened.  Basically, the Village near the School thought that the girl and her mother- a powerful telepath- are Witches, so they burned them alive- hence setting up the theme of the suicides.
What's worse?  The mother was 'seeing' through the eyes of her daughter, allowing her to live like a person with sight.  That means that she saw her daughter die violently through her eyes...before she too was burned.

A person burned alive and seeking revenge on the kids of her killer- never seen that one.  It also reminds me of The Brainiac, only without the Comet and the actual brain-stealing.
Using the Teacher as a vessel, the evil Mom-spirit burns the remaining targets (save one) in a trapped room.

Get that one?  It was in Children of the Corn II!  It could be a coincidence...but that's not as funny.
For the final guy, she stabs him to death with some scissors (before Inside BTW) and leaves covered in blood.  While she's not in a Dress, I don't need to explain this one, do I?
After that, some time goes by and she gives birth to a daughter- who becomes the dead daughter, naturally.

Two final things:
1. She leaves behind a dead lady's fingerprints.  How is the case closed?
2. Of all the Films to borrow from, why did you pick Rasen?

Oh yeah, The End.
Honestly, I was surprised.  Yes, this Film borrowed from/was inspired by a number of Films.  Some of it could be purely inference from me, while other parts are hard to ignore.  With that out of the way, I actually kind of liked it.  Now bear in mind that I'm not a huge fan of K-Horror.  So, if you happen to be one, you may like it even more!  The Story breaks no boundaries or anything, but works.  There are neat moments that I didn't really have time/space to cover.  There's a bit where the evil Spirit appears as a head coming out the top of a desk.  There's another bit where the Teacher is talking to the Spirit controlling her.  They play with you a bit here which I like.  You first see the Spirit using the Laptop, while the Teacher sits on a nearby bed.  When the conversation changes, you see that the woman is actually the one using the Laptop and the 'other' version is imaginary.  Subtle?  No.  Neat?  Yes.  While the Story veers off into some odd territory- how does possession change your fingerprints?-, it is ultimately a good one.  The one question I have- what's up with this completely-real Company Logo in the Credits?
Up next, we switch gears to bring you a Cult Classic from 1983.  If it Rocks and it Rules, I'll watch it.  Stay tuned...

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