Director – Dae-wung Lim
Cast – Seong-won Jang, Eung-soo Kim, Yeong-seon Kim, Dong-kyu Lee, Ji-hyeon Lee, Mi-hee Oh, Hyo-jun Park, Yeong-hie Seo, Hyeon-Soo Yeo, Seol-ah Yu
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Bloody Reunion is a film I had never heard of nor read about before coming across it the other day, and after taking a glace at its plot and seeing I had just enough time to watch it I decided to give it a go, and for the most part I am glad that I did. The slasher sub-genre is known for the numerous cliches its films bring to the table, however this South Korean effort gives us a fairly original take on the slasher scene, and delivers some hard-hitting gut-wrenching scenes as well.
When a former elementary school teacher reaches what she feels to be her final years on earth, she invites the very students she taught nearly two decades ago to her home for a weekend-long reunion. What starts off as fun and enjoyment soon turns sour when the students begin to speak of how the teacher’s hard-line tactics failed to lead them to prosperity as she used to justify her actions, and they plan sweet revenge against the dying woman. However, the tables turn again as she proves to be a hard foe to kill.
I really enjoyed the overall storyline, especially its unique idea of focusing around a reunion between teacher and children. We have seen reunion themes used in the slasher sub-genre before, but I had never seen it used in the way it was in this film, with the teacher inviting the students over. This was made even more awesome as each development kicked in, turning the sweet old teacher from protagonist, to antagonist, and possibly to protagonist again; and yes I’ll let you decide on your own about that when you check this one out. Numerous twists and turns abound about the film, and we are given some truly amazing kill sequences that are truly terrifying in nature, and show the mental anguish involved with this once tranquil and now horrific reunion. All of these awesome elements boil down to a unique conclusion that comes in twist form, and while I had the twist sort of guessed it was not a “shocking” twist, nor did it intend to be, it was simply a climax who’s shock value does not come due to surprise, but to what it changes about the story. Despite all of these positives the film does come with a few faults, consisting mainly of slow scenes and slight pacing issues, and a lack of proper writing execution here and there.
First-time director Dae-wung Lim did a good job bringing this unique story to screen, and did so with unique sets that set up the tranquil yet abandoned atmosphere the film carries, and he executed the horror to full potential as well. The film takes its time moving, so great visuals and good character performances are required to keep the viewer engaged, and he succeeds in attaining both of those elements. I was honestly taken aback when the horror kicked in simply because I was not expecting it to hit so hard for a slow-moving film, but once the horror got going it never relented despite not being ever-present, it was just THAT hard-hitting. While the deaths were sweet and brutal, we were given the utmost in live-action gore and FX, ensuring that what you see will leave you squirming in your seat, meaning Dae-wung Lim accomplished what he set out to do.
Overall, Bloody Reunion is a unique take on the slasher genre given its enjoyable and creative storyline consisting of constant developments, numerous twists and turns, as well as a few pacing and execution issues here and there. Director Dae-wing Lim delivers good horror that is sure to engrain itself in your mind, which is the result that every horror film should attain regardless of the faults it carries.