Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Cat | 고양이 : 죽음을 보는 두 개의 눈 [ Movie Review ] ★★

The Plot

So-yuen (Park Min-Young) works at a pet shop as a groomer. After tending to a cat, she started to see a mysterious bob-haired young girl. She didn't put too much thought on it as she suffered from claustrophobia due to a traumatic childhood incident and was still getting treatment for it.
When the cat owner mysteriously passed away in a lift, So-yuen happened to coincidentally passed by the building. A police officer Joon-Suk (Kim Dong-Wook) who was at the scene and was tasked to handle the cat, coincidentally turned out to be her good friend Bo-Hee (Shin Da-Eun) ex boyfriend that she had a crush on. The police officer requested her to take care of the cat and that's when the supernatural troubles started to escalate for So-yeun.

The Perspective 

The Cat smelled like another generic Asian horror flick that derived it's horror and storyline from the classic Japanese horror The Ring (Ringu). The trailer and plot synopsis reaffirmed that there will be no surprises in this tired genre.

You get a pretty lady as the protagonist who is having some sort of trauma from before. So-Yuen (played by the pretty Park Min-Young) is one such person. Something happened to her before and now, she is claustrophobic with a eerie dad. A convenient set up so that it would give her the excuse to freak out more often than normal people.

She would come across some form of supernatural device that would kill the people around her but not her. After the video tape in the Ring, we have seen Asian horror film makers desperately trying to throw anything and hopping that it would stick. There's been cellphones, wigs and even cinemas. This time round, the filmmakers are throwing the Cat at the audience. Cats could be morbid creatures but here it's just a another plot device at horror.

The scare tactics used in The Cat had been recycled so often that it's hard to be terrify. It's also easy to spot who are the "would be" victims and that lessen the element of surprise. Additionally, these dis-likeable characters were scripted so that the story could waste time in killing them off in the most uninspired fashion and it does nothing much to advance the plot or build up the characters. Last but not least, the climatic revelation behind the haunting felt like a blatant copy of The Ring without the fitness to execute it properly.

I would say that the only saving grace in The Cat would be Park Min-Young as eye candy. Otherwise everything else here is a rehash of the usual Asian Horror films. Unless you are a new to this genre and couldn't get enough of the same stuff, this kitty is avoidable.

 Beyond the Movie
The direct translation for the long Korean movie title literally means Cat: Two Eyes That See Death.


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