Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 20th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2012
Directors: Ji-Yeong Hong, Beom-sik Jeong, Gok Kim, Sun Kim, Dae-wung Lim, Kyu-Dong Min
Writers: Beom-sik Jeong, Gok Kim, Sun Kim, Dae-wung Lim, Kyu-Dong Min
Cast: Ji-won Kim, Ji-won, Tae-woo Kim, Bo-ra Nam, Mi-ran Ra, Yeon-Seok Yoo
DVD released: October 8th, 2013
Approximate running time: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Artsploitation Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.99
There are four segments which make up this film. The first one titled ‘Don’t Answer to the Door’ which revolves around two young children left alone and the psychopath burglars that stop by and pay them a visit. The second story titled ‘Endless Flight’ centers around a killer that is being transported and havoc he wreaks on an airplane when he gets loose. The third story titled ‘Secret Recipe’ revolves around two competitive sisters who both have their sights on the same man. Unfortunately for the one he chooses their fate looks bleak. The fourth story is titled ‘Ambulance on the Death Zone’ the plot revolves around an ambulance that picks up any survivor it can find in a world has been overrun by flesh eating zombies.
Also what ties all of these tales together are wrap around segments with a serial killer who is having his latest victim tell him scary stories to help him sleep.
Though there is a wrap around that serves its function. These moments are easily the weakest, with the most enjoyable sequences being ‘Secret Recipe’ and ‘Ambulance on the Death Zone’. The weakest of the four segments is the one titled ‘Endless Flight’ as this one comes off as more of a police procedural, then a scary story. And the fourth story ‘Don’t Answer to the Door’ is just your good old fashion scary story which also features creepy looking woman with long dangling black hair.
From a production stand point all four segments are well made. Visuals are first rate, pacing is never an issue and the performance all around are very good. Content wise there is a wide cross section of covered in the four segments. There is very little carryover between these four tales, most notable how two of the tales features eating flesh as part of main plot. Also though there is a familiarity to the things that go bump in the night in each of these segments. It is the way in which they are portrayed in each of these segments that makes them all the more sinister.
Artsploitation Films Horror Stories in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended ‘scope’ aspect ratio. The image looks clean, colors and flesh tones look accurate and black levels fare well. It should be noted that there are some mild instances of compression during some of this film’s darker moments.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise this audio mix does a very good job reinforcing the scares by driving home the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and cast & crew interviews (8 minutes 45 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) who discusses the segments they are involved in. Other extras include trailers for other titles also available from Artsploitation Films. Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a twelve page booklet with an essay about the film, a essay about Korean horror cinema and a text based Q & A with director Bum-Shik Jung. Overall Horror Stories gets a strong release from Artsploitation Films.