Spellbound casts its genre mixing dust across major cities in the US and Canada to create a magical web that entertains as it spooks.
Street magician Jo-Gu (played by LEE Min-ki) gets inspired when he meets pale and ghastly Yu-ri (played by SON Ye-jin) to turn his act it into a horror illusion show. The show is a big hit selling successfully for over a year. Wanting to repay his gratitude to his inspiration, he attempts to coordinate staff parties to get Yu-ri to attend, of which she excuses herself every time despite also being a staff member. Curious and exasperated from all her evasiveness, Jo-Gu forces her to appear at a staff event and unwittingly stumbles upon her secret: dead people visit her.
While I found myself entertained through most of its 114 mins run, it did feel that it was far too long. The mix of horror and romantic-comedy slowly turned into a Korean melodrama where at times it felt like the stories were being dragged out to fill a requisite time frame. For the most part, it was like I was watching a mash-up of The Sixth Sense, The Eye 2, and Never Been Kissed.
What I really did enjoy was that the film had a great deal of heart. Despite all its ridiculousness and whether or not you believe that the dead walk among us, the grounding heart of the film solely rests on the performance of its leading actors.
Leading Man LEE Min-ki does what he does best; he’s likeable charming and suave and balances his character’s misfortune with great comedic timing. SON Ye-jin takes a break from her usual glamourous and sophisticated roles for a more homely, other worldly and bumbly character. And while I’ve enjoyed both of them in much better roles, SPELLBOUND is a nice genre-mix to be able to see them flex their skills in different genres they’re not normally cast for.
A cute film that delivers both laughs and spooks that will even entertain the most skeptical of boyfriends.
North American audiences in major cities across the US and Canada will be able to see Spellbound on the big screen.
January 6th 2012
AMC Cupertino (San Jose)
AMC Loews Ridgefield Park 12 (New York)
January 13th 2012
AMC Showplace Niles (Chicago)
Cineplex Odeon Sheppard (Toronto)
Cineplex Silvercity Coquitlam (Vancouver)