This month, The Stake is recommending some horror movies for your Halloween watching. We’re trying to find stuff you may not have already seen. You can find all of these on one of three major streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu).
Set in a time of Japanese rule in South Korea, The Silenced is a horror/thriller film about a boarding school for sick, weak, and unwanted girls. The film follows the story of new arrival Shizuko (Bo-Young Park), who has TB, is physically weak and emotionally vacant, and is treated terribly from the start by her peers because she has the same name as another girl who recently disappeared. Disappearing students is a problem here, it turns out.
The school’s main interest is in the physical fitness of it’s students, encapsulated in competitive long jumping. The two top performing girls are rewarded by being sent to Tokyo. When Shizuko starts getting injections for her TB, her physical capability does not just return, but reaches levels of achievement hiterhto thought impossible. But with her recovery comes frightening information about what’s really happening at this school for girls, and just where the disappeared are going.
Hae-yeong Lee directs The Silenced with a quiet reserve, relying on the performances of her central young girls, Shizuko and her friend Yeon-Duk (So-damn Park), as well as the seemingly caring headmistress (Ji-won Uhm) who does incredible work with her increasingly juicy part.
While the conclusion of The Silenced may struggle to live up to the concept, it’s never without an edge of creepiness and a heaping of intense fun.
–Christopher Zumski Finke