Movie Moxie loves SDAFF 2011 — Hello Ghost

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Young-Tak Kim

Another failed suicide attempt leaves Sang-Man plagued by four hilarious ghosts.

It must be pointed out first and foremost, this is a Korean movie. And normally, while I do rather enjoy the emerging Korean film entertainment, especially the horror stories, I had my doubts for this one. It’s a Korean film about ghosts of course, but a comedy. So with reservations, we plow on.

The film opens with Sang-Man’s latest suicide attempt, how he apparently botches it and ends up in the hospital being plagued by these ghosts. One smokes like a chimney that’s forever on, one is a demanding little boy who just wants to have fun, one is a quite lecherous old grandfather type, and of course the female ghost just won’t stop crying. They move right in with Sang-Man and proceed to make his life boisterous, with hilarious and unexpected consequences. It isn’t until like halfway through the movie we begin to get an inkling why Sang-Man wants to kill himself in the first place, aside from the usual no-job-no-spouse-no-life lament. And of course, Sang-Man thinks after consulting a Korean Shaman, that he has to perform some sort of placatory act to each ghost and they’ll finally go away. When they don’t, Sang-Man blows up at them and ends up taking refuge in the friend with a small son he made recently, Jung Yun-Soo. Which, as it seems to turn out, is the actual mostly main reason for the ghosts being there. Mostly. I don’t want to give away the ending, but believe me, I didn’t see it coming and I don’t think you will either.

Even having no idea who these Korean actors are, I enjoyed their performances. The lead as Sang-Man brings across a very funny easily understood and sympathized with straight man act. Each ghost, their roles clearly defined, brings across an element of almost exasperated love that needs no translation. And besides, this is the first movie in a very long time that had me laughing, and crying, in the same sitting. See Hello Ghost, it is so worth it!

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