OUIJA BOARD aka BUNSHINSABA (2004) Reviews and overview


Ouija Board – original titles: Bunshinsaba aka 분신사바 – is a 2004 South Korean supernatural horror film written and directed by Ahn Byeong-ki (Bunshinsaba [2012] and sequels; Apt.; Phone; Nightmare). Kim Gyu-ri, Lee Yoo-ri and Lee Se-eun star. In 2006, Tokyo Shock released the film on DVD in North America as Witch Board.

Lee Yoo-jin is a transfer student from Seoul, and along with two of her friends, she is constantly bullied by a group of classmates.

One night, Yoo-jin and her friends decide to place a curse on their enemies by creating a Ouija board on which they write the names of the female bullies.

Using the Bunshinsaba curse, her friend warns the others not to open their eyes until the spell is finished. The calling takes effect, and Yoo-jin, somewhat curious, opens her eyes. To her shock and horror, she sees an image of a pale-like dead girl with long hair beside her.

The next morning when Yoo-jin enters the classroom, she discovers the corpse of one of the bullies on top of the desk, with a burned face.

Meanwhile, the school hires a volunteer teacher, Lee Eun-ju, as the new art instructor. She starts to call the roll in her class and stumbles on seat number 29 as she mentions the name of a deceased girl, Kim In-sook. The students are terrified when they hear the name, and rush out of the classroom when they see her talking to thin air…


Bunshinsaba is another disappointment for those looking for clever original entries in the Asian horror genre, but one that is relatively entertaining on an ‘assaulting the senses’ level. Fans of Phone will also get a kick out of the final reveal which is a welcome nod to the audience from the director.” Dave Foster, The Digital Fix 

” …the Asian horror film ceased to be “new” when it refused to innovate, and simply repeated the tropes of its genre ad nauseam. The result is a movie like Bunshinsaba, which has the budget to make something good, but instead seems unconcern, or unwilling, to even make an attempt. As such, you won’t find an Asian film more generic, derivative, and uninspired as Bunshinsaba”. Beyond Hollywood

“It’s a spooky and entertaining film with an engaging mystery. It has some flaws in its storytelling, which can be confusing, but the horror makes up for its shortcomings. By no means is it perfect, but it is definitely an entertaining treat for fans of ghost stories. And if you’re a fan of ghost stories, you should be watching Bunshinsaba.” Korean Movie Reviews

Witch Board: Bunshinsaba is so derivative that it feels like the work of a hack, shamelessly ripping off other movies. Of course, Byeong-ki Ahn has never been noted for his originality, and his previous screenplays feel as if he cherry-picked favorite elements from other horror films. At least in Phone, he managed to synthesize these fragments into a coherent murder-mystery-drama in which the horror scenes acted as visceral punctuation marks.” Steve Biodrowski , Cinefantastique

“Honestly, I was surprised. Yes, this film borrowed from/was inspired by a number of films. Some of it could be purely inference from me, while other parts are hard to ignore. With that out of the way, I actually kind of liked it. Now bear in mind that I’m not a huge fan of K-Horror. So, if you happen to be one, you may like it even more!” Mondo Bizarro

Cast and characters:

  • Kim Gyu-ri as Lee Eun-ju (Nightmare; Whispering Corridors)
  • Lee Yoo-ri as Kim In-sook (TV series: The Haunted School 4)
  • Lee Se-eun as Lee Yoo-jin (Bloody Beach)
  • Choi Seong-min as Han Jae-hoon/Mr. Han
  • Choi Jung-yoon as Ho-kyung

International release titles:

Germany: Possessed – Besessen
France: Incantations
Philippines (English title): Ouija Board: Bunshinsaba
Russia: Заклятие смерти
USA: (DVD title): Witch Board

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