Number 19 on the Countdown to Halloween
Movie Review by Siobahn Harris
What a wickedly creepy school story! I already love Korean horror, but Death Bell was awesome. I’m always looking for a great horror that can not only scare me but keep my interest throughout, and Death Bell did just that.
At the end of the school year, a group of elite students are gathered to form a special class. The special class must stay at the school and continue their work. However, things go bad right away.
Shortly after class starts, students begin to go missing. Unfortunately, the next time they’re seen is when they’re involved in a weird Saw like puzzle. The elite class is forced to answer vague and cryptic questions but if they they answer wrong or don’t answer at all, their classmates will die.
It begins when one student, Min Hye-Young (Jiwon Yang), is forced to go for a swim. Placed in a glass box, the killer explains that “…the first question has already begun…” which is confusing as hell. There’s writing on the box, but everyone believes that it’s some kind of a prank, and spend their time freaking out instead of trying to answer the question. Soon, the box fills with water and the students can only watch as their friend drowns.
From there the questions just get harder and the kills more creative. While many of the other students just seem to freak out, one student, I-na Kang (Gyu-ri Nam) seems to be figuring out the answers. However, these questions must be solved fast and it proves harder than they can imagine.
All of the questions must be answered before anything can become clear. So solving one or two won’t do them any good. Even if they fail to solve it in time to save the student, they have to figure out the answer to the question before the killing will stop.
This movie was great! Right from the start it pulled me in. There are some foreign horror movies that utilize the slow burn effect, which I’ve grown to hate! Those are the ones that are 90% silent, with a few jump scares, and a shit load of backstory. I used to love those, but they are so over done. This one, doesn’t do that at all.
I loved the kills! They were beautifully done and so creepy! I couldn’t help but to think about how creative these kills were. While I have seen a few of them in other movies, seeing them all together was crazy.
Something that bummed me out was that the questions were solvable, but the time they were given was a joke. Granted, they didn’t get a timer or anything, but they would find the answer and the students were long dead. I suppose that was the point in some cases though. However, I did yell at my screen, “Well, give them time to answer it!!”
I think this one wrapped up nicely. I didn’t see it coming and I loved that about it! Though, I have to say, the scene during the credits was just weird.
Hell yes! I was confused, I was nervous, I wished I could help them. I didn’t know what direction the story was going in until the end. It’s pretty hard to throw me for a loop so I was pretty impressed that Death Bell was able to do that. If you want to watch this one for yourself, it’s on Hulu right now. Check it out and let me know what you thought.