By the Looks of This TWO MOONS Teaser, K-Horror Is Not Making a Comeback This Summer

Contributor; Seoul, South Korea (@pierceconran)
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By the Looks of This TWO MOONS Teaser, K-Horror Is Not Making a Comeback This Summer
Last summer Korea failed to deliver a decent new horror film and this summer looks like more of the same. Well no actually, it looks worse. Don't judge a book by its cover they say but this new teaser for Two Moons, the next K-Horror offering (scheduled for next month), elicited little more than a yawn from me and I think I will be giving it a miss.

From what I understand the film is about people who are stuck somewhere... that's it. Would love to give you more info but that's all I found and I also don't care. Whatever happened to great films like  Memento Mori (1999), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), Epitaph (2007) and Possessed (2009)? Sigh...

Check out the teaser below and feel free to disagree with me!
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philJune 15, 2012 1:15 PM

I think you might be being a little hasty in writing off this year's K-horror crop based on this film alone. "Neighbors", which opens next month, actually looks like it might be quite decent.

Todd BrownJune 15, 2012 3:20 PM

I'm not sure that Neighbors really falls into the horror category. Feels more like a thriller to me from what I've seen, though that line can be pretty fine sometimes ...

Pierce ConranJune 15, 2012 9:59 PM

Phil, this does bring up an interesting point. I'm quite looking forward to "Neighbors" as well but as Todd says I'm not sure it really falls into the K-horror category. Films like "Voice of a Murderer", "Midnight FM" and "Man of Vendetta" (to name a few) definitely have horror elements but seem more like dark thrillers.

To me K-horror is a relatively narrow categorization of film that is quite strict and given the country's proclivity for poly-generic fare (which often include horror genre tropes), a lot of features falls outside of the category.

Looking at this summer we've already had "Don't Click" and "Two Moons" is coming up but there are plenty of other films that could be labeled as horror like "Neighbors" or "Conspirators" but I don't think they're K-horrors. Another film coming out which I'm very excited about (like many others) is the zombie thriller "Deranged". Now this film is definitely horror, but once again I hesitate to call it a K-horror.

This is just my opinion but it is a worthy topic of discussion!

philJune 16, 2012 3:00 AM

"Deranged" is actually the film I had in mind when I originally commented. I had watched the teaser trailers for both films recently and got the titles mixed up. I understand the point that you are making about K-horror being a kind of brand name for a specific style of film rather than a catch all title, and agree that all the films you mention fall into the thriller genre (Does "Possessed" even qualify as K-horror by your definition?).

meaw26June 16, 2012 5:02 AM

Here are three posters and a (slightly) longer plot summary

Interestingly calling this a "mystery Horror" movie on the Korean posters...

Also the director (Dong-Bin Kim) was responsible for the train horror movie RED EYE a few years back....

Mr. CavinJune 16, 2012 7:42 AM

Actually, this is very interesting. I sense exactly the style you mean when you say "K-Horror," and yet doesn't picking and choosing specific tropes to constitute this subset virtually guarantee that the category is going to be made up of pedestrian, inert throwbacks to fresher films? It seems like we might be locked in a logical fallacy here--or at least a feedback loop--where every time a movie becomes better than the K-Horror expectation, it does so largely by becoming something other than what we are choosing to call K-Horror.

As for the trailer above, well, I think it really sucks. It's a blinky and disastrous cookie-cut version of every other movie preview I've seen in the last two years. It focuses on just those very pedestrian, inert tropes we're criticizing. So what's been forced to the front here, with percussion-cued jump cuts, flashes of aftermarket film negative, drips of dye in water, and glitchy video-tracking mistakes (somehow they've avoided the sound of a camera shutter), may just be doing the movie a disservice. Maybe this trailer is drawing broad connections between this and other movies, or stressing modern genre cliches, that are nowhere near as forcefully underlined in the actual film?

Pierce ConranJune 16, 2012 10:33 AM

Phil - I think "Possessed" does qualify as a K-horror but in light of what Mr. Cavin has pointed out, you bring up another interesting point. Does a good film like "Possessed" shed the K-horror label because it's better or (on the surface) seems to have more substance?

Mr. Cavin - This is an excellent point and I both agree and disagree with you. I agree that the films we label K-horror regurgitate the same conventions over and over again however I think that's also part of the appeal. Full disclosure, I am not particularly big on horror but I think that those that are able to find new things in what seems (to me) to be the same. I was actually discussing this with Rex Baylon (writer at VCinema) tonight over dinner: viewers approach horror a very different way and consequently the expectations are completely different. I am always surprised to find so many people, whose opinions I very much respect, find lots to chew on in films that I tend to write off.

It's also true that I certainly shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I'm pretty comfortable in jumping the gun on this one and I am hoping for another good K-horror soon!

meaw26 - Many thanks for the extra info!