Death Bell movie review

Death Bell movie credits:

Directed by: Yoon Hong-Seung

Written by: Yoon Hong-Seung and Eun-Kyeong Kim

In-sook Choi
Sung Jin

Release date: 2008

Spoiler alert: some crucial elements of the movie are commented in the following review. Be warned!

My bloody rating:

Death Bell movie review:

A special class is created at a high school in Seoul in preparation of a visit from students from another country. Reunited on a Saturday, students begin to disappear one-by-one since someone seems to have taken control of the school. These smart students will have to answer tough questions properly otherwise they are condemned of being kill each time they will fail.

Yoon Hong-Seung, the writer and director of “Gosa” (the original title), is delivering a movie that doesn’t meet all my expectations. References to many other similar movies are very obvious (“Saw”, “Battle Royale” and most teen slasher movies) and the result is not convincing at all.

The plot is simple and straightforward. However, there are so many characters involved that the film quickly gets confusing. Characters are barely introduced and frankly, no one really cares about their faith.

Even if the scenario is quite simple, I ended up with many questions in mind. There are too many holes in the script to help the viewer figure out what is really happening.

I’m not sure if it was Yoon Hong-Seung’s intention to come up with creative murders like the ones that can be seen in the “Saw” franchise, but if it’s the case, then the result is far from being satisfying. Most deaths are ridiculous and impossible to achieved by one single killer.

The cast is good without being great or outstanding. Most of these actors don’t have much experience and it does affect the quality of the acting. No one is giving a memorable performance.

Special effects are nice although most of the time, only blood can be seen. I did like a few sequences that were more creative and fun to watch. Otherwise, the cinematography is simple and not very inspired.

The ending is quite predictable if you pay attention to the first twenty minutes of the movie. The motivations of the serial killer are not always relevant or interesting, but it was hard to come up with something else since the plot really makes it difficult to offer other alternatives.

Neither fun nor too original, this South Korea movie is good enough if you love slasher movies, but not convincing enough if you don’t.


Death Bell movie review written by: Martin Berube