Set in a girls’ high school, this tells the tale of Min-Ah, who finds a diary written by two of her schoolmates. This is a revealing book, exposing as it does their love affair. Concurrently with Min-Ah reading the diary, that relationship comes to an end, and one of the girls leaps to her death from the school roof. Supernatural events begin almost immediately thereafter.
As an exploration of the painful tribal realities of high school (à la Carrie), this works very well, a…d is sharply observed. As a horror movie, Memento Mori is notably less successful. Partly this is due to the fact that there is really no menace until the last act, by which time most people expecting some chills might well have bailed. But more problematic is the narrative itself: the story is told in such a maddeningly confusing jumble of past and present that one spends far too much mental energy in simply trying to keep track of who’s who and what’s what, which doesn’t leave much time to be scared. Consistently interesting, but this Korean effort doesn’t rank up there with the likes of Phone.
Three options here: 2.0, 5.1 and DTS. All are very clear. The DTS might have marginally more bass-heavy thunder than the 5.1 track, but the difference, if real, is hard to detect. Furthermore, the music sounds a little bit thin on all tracks, and there are some missed opportunities for really impressive surround FX (such as during the mass panic of the last fifteen minutes).
The picture quality is excellent. The print is in terrific shape, and the colours are very strong, with fine, fine flesh tones and blacks. There is no visible grain or edge enhancement., the film is never murky, and the aspect ratio is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.
Not as many extras as on some of Tartan’s other releases in this series. What you have here are trailers for the rest of the series (7 altogether), a music video, a photo gallery, and a making-of featurette (which has plenty of behind-the-scenes footage). The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.
Too oblique to be successful as a ghost story, this is still shouldn’t be passed on without consideration.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette
- Music Video
- Photo Gallery