Phone

Film

Time Out says

When journalist Ji-Won (Ha Ji-Won) starts getting sinister calls on her mobile, she assumes they’re from a gang facing trial for under-age sex crimes that she exposed. Planning a novel, she accepts the offer of Chang-Hoon (Choi Woo-Jae), husband of her best friend Ho-Jeong (Kim Yu-Mi) and moves into the couple’s isolated holiday home; she also changes her phone number, but this doesn’t help, as becomes clear when her friends’ daughter Yeong-Ju (Eun Seo-Woo) answers the mobile, screams her socks off and starts behaving very strangely…
This visually sharp, sporadically successful mix of ghost-story and psycho-thriller lunges from set-piece to set-piece with scant regard for logic, characterisation or narrative structure: flashbacks and dreams abound, threatening to swamp the film. So eager is Ahn to shock us every 60 seconds or so, he forgets suspense works best when tension’s wound up slowly. If the film made more sense, it might be interesting to examine its articulation of anxieties about parenthood, infidelity and sexuality in the the young, and how they may be affected by the new lines of communication opened up by mobiles. But as it only scratches the surface of these themes in the hope of something scary arising, one’s left wondering whether the kid playing Yeong-Ju might really be possessed (she certainly looks as if she is), why Ji-Won moves to an isolated house, and why she doesn’t just dump her bloody phone. Then again, she’s a journo with plans to write a novel, so irrationality’s probably inevitable.

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Duration:
100 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Ahn Byeong-Ki
Cast:
Ji-won Ha
Woo-jae Choi
Yu-mi Kim
Choi Ji-Yeon
Seo-woo Eun