Unborn But Forgotten

Unborn But Forgotten


Reviewed by: Merlin Harries

In the greater scheme of South Korean offerings to the horror genre Unborn But Forgotten (aka Hayanbang) offers very little aside from the usual eye-catching aesthetic now a hallmark of Asian cinema. In addition to this it unashamedly pillages Hideo Nakata’s masterpiece trilogy Ringu by switching the premise of a haunted tape to a website a’ la Stephen Dorff’s FeardotCom. To the untrained eye this may have been passed off as a half decent, if predictable, horror but to anyone who has the slightest awareness of the genre it is a tacky and disappointing rip-off.

The plot follows young reporter Su-jin (Eun-ju Lee) who is documenting the activities of detective Jun-ho Jeong (Lee Soek) who is following a case involving the mysterious deaths of a number of women. The ‘mystery’ being that the victims all appeared to have recently been through childbirth and the only link they share is having visited a strange website for a maternity clinic. In true Ringu style the startling discovery fails to prevent Su-jin logging on to the sight and promptly learning she has 15 days to live.

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After a great deal of weighty investigating and postulating, the dynamic duo discover that the first woman to be murdered had been having an affair and that her child, born out of wedlock, would have brought great shame to the father. This turns out to be the same hotshot TV producer Su-jin has been having an affair with and with whose child she is pregnant. This is one of the most mundane plot twists to ever grace a feature length film as the audience learns the ‘shocking’ truth that Su-jin’s beau actually murdered his former mistress to avoid destroying his career with an illegitimate child.

The film climaxes with the earth-shuddering realisation that Su-jin will also fall prey to her murderous lover only for Jun-ho Jeong to turn up at the very last minute and pop a cap in his ass. If you’re a fan of some of the landmark movies to emerge from the east like the aforementioned Ringu trilogy or Takashi Miike’s Audition then steer clear of this one because it won’t even wet your palate. In keeping with its moniker, Chang-jae Lim’s directorial debut will be quickly forgotten. It flatters to deceive in referencing the visual iconography and aesthetic nuances of films that have made the Asian cinema industry synonymous with groundbreaking invention in the horror genre.

Reviewed on: 27 Dec 2006
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Scary website kills pregnant women in South Korea!
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Director: Chang-jae Lim

Writer: Hyeon-geun Han

Starring: Lee Seok, Eun-ju Lee, Ji-yu Kim, Seong-Yong Kye, Kan-hie Lee, So-yeon Lee, Ji-Yeon Myeong

Year: 2002

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: South Korea


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