Plot: About 6 months prior to the college entrance exam, a school manages a cram course for its top 20 students. Evaluated only by their grades, school life is so stressful that some students suffer from serious mental problems.
A udden piano solo of 'Fur Elise'' wakes up the sleeping students and a screen shows the top student, Hye-yeong, dying in a water tank. A voice asks the students to solve a question, to decide the fate of Hye-yeong.
«Death Bell annoyingly combines prettified, slick visual filmmaking (but with no real depth) and gag-inducing torture porn excesses: it's simultaneously tepid and lackluster on the one hand and gross and offensive on the other. Recommended only for the fans of Lee Beom-soo and very undiscerning fans of the horror film genre.»
«There's no shortage of South Korean high school frightfests, but "Death Bell" has a neat concept that almost goes the distance. Slightly similar to the recent Spanish suspenser "Fermat's Room," with trapped victims having to solve puzzles to rescue their colleagues, this first feature by mono-monikered musicvid director Chang generates enough shocks and gore to keep genre addicts contented on ancillary. Remake potential is also strong.»
Twitch, by Xsource:
«It’s a shame, because while horror film fans are still gasping for air, this is likely to become the main recipe for our future summer horror seasons. I’m certainly no fan of straightforward horror films, but seeing this genre treated like this will just enrage anyone who strives to see diversity on the screen. Judging by the sound of it, it looks like a death bell for horror in Korea, all right.....»
«I guess if you haven’t watched “Battle Royale,” “Saw,” or “Memento Mori,” you could believe “Blood Bell” is better than it really is just because of that snazzy premise. But for the curious let me warn you that even with the movie’s decent outline, the filmmakers just ran the film into the ground with its shoddy screenplay, poor casting, and ultimately bad film making decisions.»
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