“Your Daily Shot of Soju” is my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend.
Movie Review; Pon (Phone) – 2002:
I suppose that girls are crazy. In fact I don’t suppose it, I know it. However, a little bit of craziness has never bothered me. Crazy people care. Crazy people are interesting. Crazy people have relatively interesting stories. I expect this from crazy people, and in fact I guess I’m a little crazy myself.
What I don’t expect from crazy people, girls particularly, is for them to haunt me in the event that we break up. This is a theme in Asian horror movies. Shutter and the Grudge both explore this crazy ex-girlfriend theme very well. So it was that I watched the Korean scary movie “Phone.”
The movie revolves around a female journalist who is decidedly not that crazy, at least in this movie. She has changed her phone number and is trying to find a new place to live. She does this because she has exposed the shady, childish underbelly of the Korean sex industry and her safety might be at risk, an idea underscored by the mysterious phone calls and snuff film emails she begins to receive. Let me save you some time though, this part of the plot has nothing to do with the actual story. The last time I felt this way about a huge chunk of a movie going absolutely nowhere Al Pacino was watching Apollonia blow up in a car.
Of the “crazy ex-girlfriend coming out of mirrors and having really long black hair that covers your face” genre it definitely isn’t as scary as The Grudge (especially the Japanese version) or Shutter. It’s actually fairly predictable in many (read; most) parts. But I have often wondered, what possesses a girl to go so crazy as to haunt someone she previously loved. This may seem like a fairly ridiculous question, but as someone who tends to enjoy dating girls who have a history of crazed behavior, it hits home to me. Are the guys they haunting amazing in bed? Are they just really funny? Are the girls just incredible losers who can’t find anybody else?
I suppose that if I were to take the “Scream” scary movie rules and apply them to the “crazy ex-girlfriend coming out of mirrors and having really long black hair that covers your face genre,” then the following rules would apply;
1. don’t date girls who are losers.
2. don’t date girls who are your grad students or are still in high school, especially when you are 40 years old and are already married/engaged
3. don’t date girls with really long black hair.
4. don’t (and this one is important) let your friends rape your ex-girlfriend and then take a picture of it with the camera that she bought for you
5. don’t buy a house for your girl on the side…love motels exist for a reason.
6. DON’T promise her ANYTHING…this will come back to you…and will probably foreshadow your death
7. Don’t be funny. And finally
8. Don’t do anything that will make her happy in bed.
I’ve followed these rules my entire life (except 3 and maybe 1, depending on how I’m feeling) and I have yet to be haunted. Moving on.
So should you watch this movie? I liked it because I like scary movies in general. So if you also like scary movies, there you go…but if you don’t still watch it.
If for none other than this reason. The little girl in this movie is the most chilling thing I have seen in a long time. She carries every single scene she is in, and she’s only 8. This includes the most frightening scene of the movie when she becomes enamored with her porcelain dolls. She’s almost too good. When you watch her in one of her final scenes she, so completely, blows away every thing else the movie has to offer that I felt like giving her a standing ovation…the problem is, when you’re making a scary movie you want the audience to be frightened of the creepy little girl with the grin rather than in awe of her.
If you’ve never seen The Grudge or Shutter, I suggest you watch those. However, if you really want to see a girlfriend who gets a little too clingy too fast, this is the movie for you.
I suppose that the ex-girlfriends in all of these movies were wronged in their own way. But enough that you decide to haunt your offenders for the reminder of their short lives…especially when it’s like 5 years after the fact…this I don’t understand.
Either way, I made Rachel promise not to haunt me if we ever break up. She was non-committal.
After writing the above I found the scene at the end where the little girl basically tells every other member of the cast “I’m better than you, now get me a cookie.”
Piece of pop culture I’m diggin today:
Lack of facial hair. I’m not saying nobody in Korea has it, I’m just saying there’s not much of it.
Over the break I grew whatever type of beard it is in me to grow. Admittedly this is not much compared to some of my friends. But because there’s so little of it here, today on the first day back of school my kids were freaking out over it.
Better yet, I actually frightened a couple girls. I may never shave.
Piece of pop culture I miss today:
Supermarkets that sell things other than groceries. The light bulb in my bathroom burnt out and now in addition to being extremely cold it’s extremely dark. I can’t take a shower after 6 p.m.
There are supermarkets every 15 steps. I can’t find any place, within walking distance, that sells light bulbs. Maybe I’ll steal one from my school.
Other things in my apartment that are broken:
The key pad to my apartment building. Not the lock to my actual apartment but the one that allows people into the building.
My TV. It keeps jumping and skipping. I have to reset it every ten minutes or so or the screen goes blank and a picture of a well in the middle of an open field appears…really annoying.
My washing machine. If I put more than 3 shirts in it, it gets too heavy with water and tilts. Also I keep finding clumps of long black hair in it.
My mirrors. They keep reflecting these two little oval shaped lights back at me. And sometimes, if the light hits it just right it looks like theres a shadow behind me. This makes it very difficult to shave…if I would ever do it.
More video clips from “Phone.”
This music video shows pretty much every worth while scene in the movie. And more of the little creepy girl. I know, I’ve kind of ruined the movie for you now…if you were actually going to watch it.
Consider this a favor…
Watch Shutter Instead:
Good movie. Scary as hell. You won’t look at pictures or neck cramps the same way again.
And to top it all off the storyline is pretty on-point. I actually understand why this ex-girlfriend is pissed as hell.