Kim Tae-yong and Min Kyu-dong direct this thriller about teen sexuality and supernatural fury. The film focuses on the young nubile Min-ah (Kim Min-seon), who stumbles upon a diary/scrapbook that details the freakishly intense relationship between her schoolgirl classmates Shi-eun (Lee Yeong-jin) and hacket-faced Hyo-shin (Park Ye-jin). The pair seem to have some sort of telepathic bond. When Hyo-shin appears to commit suicide, Min-ah shows the diary to two of her friends and the three attempt to discover what really happened to the girl. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide
[I redid this review due to some obvious haters who can't hang with my style and also dislike any historical overview of homosexuality in Korea.]
This isn't a horror movie, it's an adolescent drama, a highly sympathetic view of queer sexuality, and a look in Korean highschools. It intersperses flashbacks during one day and night at school and revolves around a very creatively done exchange diary to segue into flashbacks. An exchange diary is basically a journal that is kept between two people and is much more romantic than e-mail.
It turns into a horror movie during the last 5 or 10 minutes, when the protytpical tragic lesbian figure comes back for revenge.
I thought it was amazing that this movie came out when it did, because there weren't any mainstream queer media in Seoul and around the same time a queer film festival was shut down.
This movie is technically part 2 of an ongoing series of "girl's schools horror stories" and really different from the other 2 films. If you look at this film in the series, it basically feels as if someone slipped in their queer agenda film into an otherwise typical horror series.
Memento Mori is a lesbian love story hiding in a cult setting. The story takes place entirely within a Korean school, where the girls seem to spend their entire lives. Close attention was paid to the material culture of modern girls, especially in the form of a diary that two girls share. An interesting, stylish, but not highly thought provoking movie. Watch for the girl with the aquarium!
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