Review: The Ghost


You could be the offspring of a retard and a perfume sales girl and still guess what sort of movie this is, and before you think that the less that imaginative title is the result of some blatant western marketing ploy let me set you straight, the title is a direct translation of the Korean title. Yes, what Korea have produced here is a highly polished remake of their own movies and in all honesty, the result, well pretty much the same as the western remakes; the movie equivalent of the wonder-bra: all packaging, no filling.

Ghost, and I'm reluctant to spend any longer on the synopsis that the movie makers clearly did on the plot, is basically the usual Ghost revenge movie where a ghost, in this case that of a drowned girl, haunts those who harmed her, except the main culprit is amnesic and can't actually remember why the ghost is after her. The haunted then must unearth the cause of the haunting and put the spirit to rest.

The movie wastes no time in getting going, reminding me very much of western cinema, as the opening scene shows the ghost haunting followed by a 'jumpy' scene. Then we cut to a nice 'safe' scene effectively killing any sort of atmosphere which could have been developed. From then on the movie takes the direct path to the end: kids happily chatting, then one gets left alone, the surrounding goes dark, the music starts up and then you get done by a fucking cheap scare involving a long haired ghost and an eye! I'm not saying it's not effective, but it is hardly ingenuous.

OK OK I am being a little harsh, in fact at times this movie is a little creepy, I mean no matter how many times I see them those ghosts still frighten the shit out of me and the story does make some effort, and whilst I will be honest, I didn't think to much to the twist, there is one and it is quite profound, if a little confusing. The acting isn't to bad either and there are some pretty funky special effects.

In all honesty if this movie had been made a while ago, before all the other ghost movies, it would have sufficed, although it's not a patch on 'Ju-On', but it really suffers bad from the lack of originality. At times the movie is far to easy to predict in terms of both story and scares - the ghost sounds are even the same as that of Ju-On.

I guess there is an argument that really the Asian Ghost genre is a very one-trick pony and in danger of becoming a cliché in its own right with the sheer amount of movies, which, for all intents and purposes are identical, being churned out both sides of the pacific. However, I am still cleaning out the skid-marks caused by the superb Thai chiller 'Shutter', which again is nothing too original, but massively effective, nullifying this argument. The formula still works, it just needs a lot more thought put into it than it used to.

Overall, 'Ghost' is nothing but a by the numbers effort and really I would only recommend it to those who genuinely cannot get enough.

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