THE SILENCED (2015) Reviews and overview

 

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The Silenced – (Hangul: 경성학교: 사라진 소녀들; RR: Gyeongseong Hakgyo: Sarajin Sonyeodeul; translation: “Gyeongseong School: The Lost Girls”) is a 2015 South Korean horror film directed by Lee Hae-Young. The movie stars Park Bo-Young, Uhm Ji-Won and Park So-Dam.

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In 1938, a girl, Joo-Ran (Park Bo-Young), is transferred to a boarding school in Keijyo (the former name of Seoul). Joo-Ran learns of another student with the same name and tries to figure out the hidden secret of the boarding school…

Reviews:

“With lush green mountains, pretty schoolgirls dressed in uniforms, a beautiful boarding school and an impeccably styled Uhm Ji-won, The Silenced offers many visual delights. The plot, however, is a messy hodgepodge, the result of overreaching on the part of screenwriter and director Lee Hae-young.” Korea Herald

” …the slow-build is both bad and good. However, it progressively gets better. I won’t spoil anything, but the revelation in this film is splendid. It is unique and fascinating. I’m sure it’s been done in other films before, but it really felt like a breath of fresh air. It quickly changes pace and trajectory, creating something a bit more exciting than its build-up.” Cinematic Addiction

“Despite never really offering anything really new, The Silenced is nevertheless a very enjoyable piece of genre filmmaking, and another interesting offering from Lee Hae-yeong. While not at the level of the classic A Tale of Two Sisters, it’s definitely one of the better films of its type from Korea in recent times, and even those understandably tired of the form should enjoy its well-judged menace.” Eastern Kicks

The Silenced isn’t a flawless experience, but it’s satisfying nonetheless. The performances are strong, the script has a working brain, and Hae-young does a fine job of generating plenty of satisfying moments between the young, charismatic leads. That said, it’s definitely a dreary and moody affair, one that probably won’t appeal to those looking for an uplifting story that moves along at a jaunty speed.” Electric Bento

“With its sterling production values and potent atmosphere, The Silenced is an effective chiller that unabashedly seeks to entertain rather than surprise. Modest ambitions may dampen the staying power of this slick production, yet with a colonial era setting that turns out to be more than just set dressing, it transcends mere escapism.” Pierce Conran, Screen Anarchy

Cast and characters:

  • Park Bo-young as Cha Ju-ran / Shizuko
  • Uhm Ji-won as Headmistress
  • Park So-dam as Hong Yeon-deok / Kazue
  • Kong Ye-ji as Yuka
  • Joo Bo-bi as Kihira
  • Shim Hee-seop as Kenji
  • Park Seong-yeon as Life teacher
  • Ko Won-hee as Shizuko