Today we’re back to Korea for the 2007 horror film “Muoi”….Directed by Kim Tae Kyeong (“The Ghost”), the Korean-Vietnamese co-production “Muoi: The Legend of the Portrait”, was perhaps the most ambitious of this summer’s horror offerings out of Korea. Partially shot in Vietnam, the film is beautifully filmed with unique costumes and sets, creating a horrifying, yet unique look for a Korean film in this genre.
The synopsis is as follows: “In 1896, during the French colonial period in Vietnam, a portrait of a woman was discovered in the village of Da Lat.The Villagers were both mesmerized and disturbed by the great beauty of the portrait, and whispers of a curse began when calamity befell those connected with it. Over a century later, Korean novelist Yoon Hee (Jo An) stumbles upon the legend of Muoi’s portrait. At her estranged friend’s urging, she travels to Vietnam to reconnect with another friend (Cha Ye Ryeon), whom she had previously written a scandalous novel about, and find inspiration for her next work. Yoon Hee is extremely interested in writing about Muoi’s portrait, but fascination turns to fright when the portrait’s terrifying secret is awakened.”
Mmmmmm!! Creepy! Let’s find out some more!!
This one is a nice lil’ effort by the Koreans to do another “Long Haired Ghost” story, but go someplace a little different than their usual direction. It’s a excellent looking film with solid acting by Jo An who hasn’t been in a horror offering since “Wishing Stairs” back in 2003. Muoi is played convincingly by well-known Vietnamese actress Anh Thu. As for the locales, Vietnam itself has never looked lovelier…..
I liked this one a lot, but it does take some period of time to really get going…… then it gets nasty fast. Particularly chilling is the torture of Muoi by her lover’s fiancé and some goons….. a very graphic leg breaking and nasty games with acid to the face that lets you know that Muoi is gonna be one very, very cranky and enraged spirt indeed. Somehow saying that she was “begrudged”… in the words of a Buddhist priest…. just doesn’t cover that whole scenario. Later the movie returns to standard chills as our heroine slowly comes to the realization that the curse has now turned it’s ugly way to her…… but worry not. The conclusion gets us back to the realm of bloody vengeance in time for the end credits to roll…… all in 95 minutes.
For its atmosphere, and setting alone, Neko gives this one a firm 4 “Meows” out of 5…..give it a try.
And the Trailer, of course, follows for you as well…..