Cello (2005) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Lee Woo-cheol
Producers: Yun Hyo-seok, Kim Sang-chan, Jang Yong-seok
Writers: Jeong Woo-cheol
Date Released: August 18, 2005
Sung Hyun-ah as Hong Mi-ju
Park Da-an as Kim Tae-yeon
Jeong Ho-bin as Jun-ki
Jin Woo as Kyung-ran
Kim Na-woon as Sun-ae
Jin Ji-hee as Yoon-hye
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Hong Mi-ju (Sung Hyun-ah) is a talented cellist and a part-time instructor in a renowned institution. During this time, she gets into an accident but miraculously survives unharmed. After her accident, things start to go downhill after that fateful night as it effects both herself and her family. Soon her picture-perfect family starts to fall apart, a bitter student continues to harass her, a strange, silent housekeeper arrives, and her daughter is suddenly interested in learning the cello. Mi-ju must face her mysterious past that comes back to haunt her and figure out how these events are connected with one another in order to save her loved ones and herself.
Cello (2005) has a few scenes that might unsettle viewers, including stabbing, hanging, and dead animals. However, there’s little to no gore and the violence is often off-screen. But when deaths do happen, they leave a mark. You can expect a lot of ghostly apparitions, but the effects are hardly likely to impress viewers. The graphics look outdated and the ghost looks caked with pale makeup. Unfortunately, due to the cheap-looking scares, the ghosts look unrealistic.
The Grave Review
Cello (2005) is not a bad film, but also is not a good film. It follows the plot that was a great formula for horror movie success at the time of its release, that is, the main character did an oopsie in the past, their actions come back to haunt them, and there’s a creepy girl that follows them around. Also, a mental breakdown is required somewhere in the story to signal the incoming doom. The plot was fairly straightforward but failed in its execution in some aspects.
As one of the newest additions to the ghost story sub-genre, Cello (2005) had the opportunity to bring something new to the table. Instead, it recycled all movie tropes and forced it to fit in the story. It seems like the creators carefully studied Cello (2005)’s predecessors, took the best parts of the films, and incorporated it into their ideas. And since the film tries to incorporate all the good things in other movies, a lot of the scenes feel disconnected and unnecessary. While taking inspiration is not a bad thing, basing your entire work on another work does not do anyone any good. It just adds fuel to the endless cycle of repetitive and average movies.
Despite its issues, the movie still has memorable moments. The second half of the film leads to a disturbing conclusion. Things finally take an exciting turn until the film reveals a “shocking twist”. Unfortunately, the twist does not impress and lets the movie end on a wrong note. Perhaps it is meant to explain all the unnecessary events from the first half of the movie, but it only confirms the lazy writing.
Cello (2005) has a lot of wasted potentials; the second half of the film proves it. It tries to stand out from the rest but fails because it also tries to become like the rest.
If you’re new to Asian horror, Cello (2005) is a good start. But if you’ve seen the better Asian ghost stories, you might not be missing much. Still, the film is worth a watch because of its promising climax.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Cello (2005) two graves out of five graves.
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