Here’s to acheena‘s suggestion that I watch Spellbound/Chilling Romance. Overall, mediocre movie made great by Lee Min-ki and his guy/man-liner. Son Ye-jin looks perfect and beautiful as always. It’s hard to categorize this movie. Dark comedy + horror + romantic comedy= Dark romantic comedy?
Jo-goo (Lee Min-ki) is a average street magician until he sees the forlorn and sad-looking girl, Yeo-ri (Son Ye-jin) in his audience one day. He get’s the idea to do a “Horror Magic Show” with Yeo-ri as the hidden operator to his magic tricks. After 1 year, Jo-goo becomes a great success and even get’s his own giant stage in a big auditorium. He has the perfect life and even a hot girlfriend.
However, within this whole year, Yeo-ri has remained distant from all the show’s coworkers. She never attends the coworkers’ after-work functions. Jo-goo finally convinces Yeo-ri to come to a gathering but she ends up piss drunk. When he calls her in the morning the phone hangs up, so he goes to her house to investigate. At her house, Jo-goo messes with a little boy ghost then ends up having the bejesus scared out of him later that night. Yeo-ri comes to his rescue and confesses she can see ghosts. This began when she survived after almost drowning in an accident. During the accident her best friend died and now haunts her. She tries to keep to herself in case her best friend’s ghost hurt those close to her.
Jo-goo feels sorry for Yeo-ri and tries to set her up with a friend, but the attempt fails as the ghost scares said friend. Jo-goo becomes more and more drawn to Yeo-ri. They begin to fall in love but the best friend ghost looms over their budding relationship, threatening their love.
Ok let’s get the bad over with.
The plot was unsatisfactory to me in that it never wholly solved the problem of the best friend ghost. There’s some spectacular things the ghost does in the end to try to scare off Jo-goo but we are led to believe Yeo-ri calls a semi-truce with the ghost at the end. But the ghost will continue to follow and haunt Yeo-ri and Jo-goo for the rest of their lives. That doesn’t really solve the problem. So Jo-goo will continue to be in danger the rest of his life? What a sacrifice to make for love! I don’t understand why the ghost won’t just get over it.
Also the entire part with Jo-goo’s model girlfriend is so extraneous. Her finding Jo-goo and Yeo-ri sleeping together (they really were only sleeping) in the tent did nothing to spur on the plot. They would have realized they loved each other regardless. If her existence was cut out of the story, the plot would have went on just fine. It’s as if she had a greater part and longer screen time originally, and the director was forced to cut her out due to limited time.
I don’t think the ghost aspect in the movie is meant to scare you. I think the director’s goal is to have girls who watch this movie clutch onto their male date’s arms. The ghost scared me a little. But granted, I was watching at night by myself! Cut me some slack, but I totally hate scary movies. Best friend ghost was mighty creepy.
But overall I would recommend this movie. Lee Min-ki is great at comedy. I think his facial expressions and his googly eyes really lend to a hilarious effect. I especially loved the gag scenes where every time Yeo-ri got really drunk she would rip off the front of his shirt. Also Son Ye-jin is really beautiful. The chemistry between the leads is tangible. You just expect them to start making out at any given moment. Definitely check this out if you’re a fan of either actors.