December 25, 2023

THE GHOST STATION: A Serious Case of Deja Boo

2023 / 81 min
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

The Ghost Station is written by Takahashi Hiroshi, most internationally famous as the screenwriter responsible for Ringu and Ring 2 (as well as the sequel to the American remake). While that may initially excite fans of the franchise, it quickly becomes clear in this Korean film that Hiroshi is less interested in creating new horror than plagiarizing himself. 

Like The Ring, this one even features a journalist as the main protagonist, the vengeful ghosts of children and an old well that is central to the narrative. The setting is a bit different though, which concerns a haunted subway station where several people have recently died. Young tabloid journalist Na-young (Bo-ra kim) creates a viral name for herself while finding connections between the deaths…each victim bears scratches on their bodies before eventually dying in various ways (hit by trains, beheaded by doors, etc). 

Pokemon Go can lead you to some dark places.
Aided by a few friends, her investigation reveals a dark past related to where the station was built decades before. For the first two-thirds of the film, the story is somewhat convoluted, but just interesting enough to pique our curiosity (though it goes overboard with the jump scares). However, once the plot revelations start pouring in, so does some serious deja vu, including the concept of a curse that can be passed along to another poor bastard…a shocking twist 25 years ago, but shockingly rote now.

Elsewhere, The Haunted Station never approaches the atmospheric, slow-burning tension of the original Ringu (or even some of its imitators). Nor does it feature any characters who are all that engaging. It’s ultimately an unimaginatively directed checklist of tropes revisited by a writer who helped create them.

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