Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A part-time music professor’s life begins to crumble after a student threatens her because of a poor grade. But she soon realizes that another one of those creepy girls with long black hair that crawls out of odd places is more of a threat. Yeah… you’ve seen it before.
Is it good movie?
A cellist plays a beautiful piece of music in a white room. As the music plays we see another image; a bloody mangled survivor of a tragic accident. This is a very stylish opening which gave me hope this might be a little different from all the other J-Horror. But about half-way through I realized that the only thing new about this flick is that it “borrows” from several others. And by the time the credits rolled I was relieved because those last few climactic moments grew a little tedious and frankly a little too mean-spirited. Cello has some interesting ideas in the beginning and takes awhile to get to the “scary girl” played by Da-an Park (except this time she's a young woman). You see, Mi-Ju (Hyeon-a Seong) is having a bad day. A student whom she gave a poor grade to begins to threaten her. And when she gets to her car she finds someone has punctured one of her tires. Then the threatening messages come and she begins to hallucinate. At first, I thought this was going to be one of those “you wronged me, so now I’m going to kick your ass” movies. But no, it’s J-horror, so we need the scary girl to come out of a photograph.
Despite the compete lack of originality I did admire this flick in the beginning for the character driven screenplay. Each one of her family members is especially well drawn out including her autistic daughter she loves. I loved the time spent with them before the nasty shite starts happening. I almost wish they would have gone another route besides the routine supernatural element these types of film are known for. But sadly I started to really not dig Mi-Ju because of many questionable things she does. They play the “crazy” card on her and Ms. Seong gives a good show, but I just didn’t buy many of her actions, especially one where she hides something horrible from her husband (Ho-bin Jeong). Come on! You make her out to be such a wonderful mother and then the "cello case". Trust me; you’ll know it when you see it. This was a fair attempt to make a good psychological horror flick. Stylish and atmospheric, this could have been a phenomenal movie. But Woo-cheol Lee settles by making a copy of other, better films. Sorry, but this music didn’t move me.
Video / Audio
Cello is a stylish, atmospheric tale that relies too heavily on other ideas. Here you have a movie that, although not very predictable, still suffers from been there, done that. Then you have an ending that is really kind of mean-spirited and nasty, don’t get me wrong, I love that kind of stuff but it really felt cruel in this flick. And I would love to see a movie like this NOT use the creepy girl with long black hair; how about a bald little person who likes to limbo? Anything else! Come on people, try something new. The Cello is nice and pretty but it sounds like every thing else on the radio.