Ga-in, a normal high school student in South Korea, is worried; brutal murders are happening for no apparent reason, and now even her family is being effected by these strange occurrences. To make things worse, Ga-in finds out she’s going to be the next person killed. Now she has to find out why these murders are happening – before it’s too late.
Voices (original South Korean title Du Saram-yida) is a movie that it quickly becomes apparent with has a lot of potential; it has that classic Asian creepiness that effects me so much (I’m not going to even go into the nightmares I had when I first saw The Grudge/Ju-on… yeah), at least in the beginning, as well as with some of the murders later in the movie. The gory, enraged stabbing of one of the characters in a hospital room, helpless to do anything as she’s killed, was quite the sight; at this point in the movie my interest in the story as a whole had certainly been piqued, and I could feel myself already getting involved in the plot.
Unfortunately, Voices doesn’t follow through with its initial potential; the story soon becomes confusing, unable to decide what it really wants to be. A true, scary horror movie, as we get a hint of in the beginning? A thriller as Ga-in tries to unravel the mystery surrounding these odd events? It wants to be all of these things, but that’s its downfall; it needed to just try to focus on one thing instead of so many, “Oooh, this could be cool!” plots. As a side note, what was with the beginning? We see a dead girl come back to life and lunge at the screen, and yet… There’s nothing else in the movie like that at all. At. All. That totally gave me the wrong impression as to what kind of movie I’d be watching, and that’s obviously not a good thing to do. For shame, writers. For shame.
Eventually, we find out things stem from a curse, but what kind of curse exactly this is still sort of baffles me. The last half hour of the movie or so tries to throw the viewers for a loop…. Oh, I’d say three times. They try to give us a background for the curse, but they don’t succeed. They really don’t. The only feeling it left me with was one of utter confusion because they just didn’t explain things more, or at the very least if they did, I didn’t understand it, so maybe they should have made things a bit more clear.
There were multiple little plotlines left unfollowed, which also links into the story not knowing what it wants to be. The first one that comes to mind is the parents of Ga-in apparently knowing exactly what’s going on, and being scared they’re the ones who are going to be killed next. Again, this had potential for a good plotline to follow, but I guess three quarters of the way through the writers went, “Eh, you know what, I don’t like that story much. Let’s just… forget about it. I’m sure the viewers will too.” Well, guess what? We didn’t. Sure, this is acknowledged in a small way by the Dad sending her off to see the old man who was also effected by the curse because she “needs to see it”, but we don’t ever find out what his connection to this man is, or why she even did need to see him. The visit just… happens. It happens and it’s meaningless.
I do have to wonder why the police didn’t have more involvement in things than they seemed to. Sure, they had something to say after the first murder, but after that, not really anything. Seriously, there are like five attempts to murder an innocent high school student, all within a short amount of time, and there’s no sort of investigation into things? They don’t think something’s just a little hinky with that? *shrugs* All right then.
The acting itself is… decent. Eh, nothing special here, honestly. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve seen better. The main actress can hold her own for the most part, but doesn’t really stick out at all. One other actor that consistently features in the movie screams EMO to me, though.
Voices didn’t feel particularly rushed, but I have to wonder – if they had made it longer, and really devoted attention to the plotlines they didn’t follow through with, would it have made for a better movie? With it being only a short 85 minutes, I’m inclined to think so. Of course, this problem also could have been fixed had they just not started the plotlines at all. Don’t have the parents act like they know exactly what’s going on, worried they’re next – that makes the viewers ask questions! Questions that are never answered! We, the audience, do not like that, damn it!
Also, just why is it that every time someone tries to kill Ga-in, no one else is around? This even happens in the nurse’s office at school, and yet, where’s the nurse? Shouldn’t SOMEONE be around? Sure, I guess in a couple of instances someone finally gets around to helping her, but it’s always after she almost dies and when someone should have been around before that anyway. It’s just one more thing in a string of many things that doesn’t make sense.
The main ending twist had potential to be really good, a Haute Tension-esque move on the writers’ parts, but it just didn’t add up to make a convincing, good turn for the story. There’s a cliffhanger, which makes me think there’s a chance there’ll even be a sequel, but I doubt it – I have a feeling this movie wasn’t well received even in its homeland of South Korea, and if there ever is a sequel… Well, maybe that means some questions will be answered. Of course, chances are that won’t happen, and it’ll just suck even more than this one, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Voices isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen; not even the worst horror movie I’ve seen. Not at all. But it’s just not that good – it’s extremely average. Sure, if you’re really bored and you’re in the mood for some Asian horror like I was when I sat down to watch it, you might as well check this out – it’s only 85 minutes, after all. Plus, it does have its occasional creepy moments. But if you really want something good, watch a movie like Ju-on, because you’re not going to get anything astounding, or even great, with Voices.