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Horror Stories ("Mooseowon Iyagi")

Canadian Premiere
  • South Korea
  • 2012
  • 108 mins
  • DCP
  • Korean
  • English (subtitles)

“One of the scariest Asian horror anthologies of the 21st century” - HORRORMOVIES.CA

“The best K-horror since POSSESSED” - Pierce Conran, TWITCH

High-school student Ji-won is kidnapped by a peculiar serial killer. Unable to speak, he cannot go to sleep unless he is told a bedtime story, preferably a truly scary one. Forcing her to do so, the captive high school soon eases into her new role as storyteller. Coming up with the scariest, spookiest tales she knows, for our pleasure as well as his, she embarks on a succession of delightfully efficient stories, keeping her kidnapper at ease as best she can.

Anthology film enthusiasts, look no further! Hailed as one of the best K-horror films in years, HORROR STORIES, which terrorized the festival circuit all though last year, from Pucheon to Sitges, Hong Kong and Brussels, finally hits Montreal. A tremendously effective horror film, this omnibus (which has already spawned a sequel) serves as a showcase of diverse, lesser known or up-and-coming South Korean directors, all six of which show a particular talent for horror filmmaking in their own style.

The terrific wraparound segment by director Min Kyu-dong (MEMENTO MORI) sets the stage admirably, doing more than simple padding as terrified high-schooler Ji-won takes us from one tale to the next. First on the menu, “Don’t Answer the Door” from director Jung Bum-shik (THE EPITAPH) offers an incredible evocation of the oft-irrational fears one felt staying home alone as a child, followed by “Endless Flight” by Lim Dae-woong (TO SIR WITH LOVE), which traps us with a serial killer… 30,000 metres in the air. It’s a high-octane story at the complete end of the emotional spectrum. Basing her short on “Kongji and Patzzi”, a Joseon Dinasty-era folktale similar to Cinderella, Hong Ji-young (MODERN FAMILY) follows that with a body horror short that is perhaps the most cunning, twist-filled and gut-churning of the anthology and finally, the tremendous duo of Kim Gok and Kim Sun (WHITE: MELODY OF THE CURSE) finish things off with the fun “Ambulance on the Death Zone,” a relentless, action-packed zombie short taking place on board an ambulance, of all places! As jam-packed a thrill ride as we can offer, brace yourself for an evening of HORROR STORIES!

— Ariel Esteban Cayer