THE CURSED LESSON (2020) Reviews and overview of Korean mystery horror

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The Cursed Lesson is a 2020 South Korean mystery horror film about an online fashion model who joins a mysterious yoga class. It is a remake of Yoga Hakwon (2009).

Co-directed by Jai-hong Juhn and Ji-han Kim, the movie stars Lee Chae-Young (이채영), Choi Chul-Ho (최철호), Cho Jung-Min (조정민) and Kan Mi-Yeon (간미연).

Online fashion model Hyo-jeong faces the imminent threat of being unemployed because of the younger and more fashionable generation coming after her. While replying on surgical procedures and treatments, Hyo-jeong hears about a mysterious yoga class from her old high school classmate, Ga-yeong that helps create the perfect body shape.

Hyo-jeong eventually attends the yoga class with three classmates: Mi-yeon, a boxer who failed to keep her body fit, Ji-won, who has an unstable mental condition, and Ye-na, a movie star who is morbidly obsessed with her appearance. Meanwhile, the police start to investigate the enigma behind the yoga class after finding out that a murder in the neighbourhood was committed by a woman named Bo-ra, a former student…

“More fascinating than terrifying, more aesthetic than horrific, The Cursed Lesson […] is a good vintage of Korean cinema, not one of the best, but a well-done production, sometimes a little long and talkative, sometimes confused in its characterization of the characters, but all the same frankly successful…” Abus de Ciné [translated from French]

“The problem with the film is more about the break in the narrative in the last 20 minutes of the film where a more grandiose form of horror takes precedence over the subtlety of the approach behind the project. By getting lost in the halls of the institute, the heroine also loses the viewers a bit, as the writers bring reality to life through the police who intervene to put things in their place.” Cinopsis [translated from French]

” …though not many horror titles boast of a good ending, this one was so sudden and convenient, it just left me scratching my head. Tackling a worthy message but failing to really make a point, this twisty tale fails to move.” Morgan Awyong

“The serpentine motifs are evident throughout the film, although it can get a bit blatant at times; and the cast were clearly picked for their looks rather than acting ability (although there are some questionable choices) so that they’re easy on the eyes. It’s fairly fitting, given the movie’s focus on appearances and beauty. Nevertheless, images without a story does not a movie make, and that’s where this horror film falls short.” Marcus Goh

The film was released in South Korea in November 2020.

Original title:
요가학원: 죽음의쿤달리니 “Yoga Academy: Kundalini of Death”

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