White: The Melody of the Curse (2011) Scream-a-long Terror

 

A little something different for today. Now just to set this up I have to explain that I love films. Especially horror films. Most especially Asian horror films. And top of the list are Korean horror films. My daughter shares this passion with me and she found this little gem of a horror film –  White: Cursed Melody. She has literally been banging on about this film for months. We finally were able to see this when we got our copy from YesAsia.com.

All I can say is…Woah!

Korea is the capital of “manufactured” bands. Literally dozens of these groups are formed every year, usually by SM Entertainment. Boy bands and girl bands, the younger the better, are formed, homogenised and pasteurised and released to an adoring fan base. White: Cursed Melody (aka White) is about a girl group struggling for recognition in this highly competitive arena.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How on earth is this a horror film. Well, even without the paranormal slant that is part of this film, you might find girl/boy singing groups quite horrible. Seen X Factor lately?

On with the plot…The “leader” of the group finds a 15 year old video tape that’s been recorded in an old studio – a studio that previously caught fire with deadly consequences – by an unknown girl group. The song on the tape catches the “leader’s” interest and she along with the group’s manager decide to use the song in their competition. This song titled “White”  propels the group into the limelight.

The song turns out to be cursed (no, not like The Ring cursed) and that is essentially the plot of the film.

This film was brilliant. It showed, in the first half of the film, the stresses and strains on relationships between band members. It also showed the ravishing affects of inter-group competition and the “back-biting” and the “in-fighting” that occurs when any band takes off.

The second half of the film was just downright jump out of your seat, goose-bumply scary. I don’t even think that Insidious made me jump as much. The film sucker punches you so many times you start to feel punch drunk. It also has a plot that isn’t easily guessed by the viewer. You literally find out at the last possible moment who the “big-bad” really is.

Considering that most of the actors who played as the girl group were not actors but were singers from existing bands in Korea, it makes the film all the more memorable and amazing. I know that a lot of folks don’t like sub-titles, but believe me this film is worth the irritation of reading them. On a side note, unlike a lot of sub-titled films, the titles themselves are not of book length and quickly read.  They really don’t detract from the film at all.

Like I said it is SCARY.  Not to sound like a big fraidy cat, but, I’m going to bed tonight with the lights on.

About Michael Knox-Smith

World traveler, writer, actor, vlogger, blogger, journalist. Cinephile who reviews films, television, YouTube shows, Books and interviews professionals in the industry. Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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