DEATH BELL (2008) Reviews and overview

 

Death Bell is a 2008 South Korean horror feature film directed by Chang [Yoon Hong-seung] who also co-wrote the screenplay.

The movie stars Lee Beom-soo in his first horror film role, and K-pop singer Nam Gyu-ri in her acting debut. Set in a Korean high school, the film’s native title refers to gosa, the important midterm exams that all students are required to sit.

Plot:

An elite group of twenty high school students—including rebellious heroine Kang Yi-na, her timid best friend Yoon Myong-hyo, and her suitor Kang Hyeon—are taking a special class for their college entrance exam.

After Kang Yi-na is nearly strangled and another student throttled in the restroom, the classroom TV screen switches to an image of top-ranking student Hye-yeong trapped inside a fish tank that is slowly filling with water. A disembodied voice announces that her life depends on the exam questions he will set for them and that a student will die for every question the class gets wrong.

Trapped with the students are head teacher Hwang Chan-wook and English teacher Choi So-yeong. Yi-na realizes that the students are being killed in order of their rank in the class, and she is ranked fifth. Someone is slowly killing the students one by one…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“While Death Bell is unlikely to cause viewers to alter their list of the best ever South Korean horror films, its old-school feel combined with elements from more recent visceral horror fare, alongside numerous references to the incredible pressures that Korea’s school system can place on pupils, parents and teachers alike, ensure that it is nonetheless a welcome addition to the horror genre.” Hangul Celluloid

Original title:

고死: 피의 중간고사 aka Gosa: Piui Junggangosa