Death Bell

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"One will die for every incorrect answer."
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 5.5  (3,147)

Death Bell is a South Korean horror-thriller movie from 2008, directed by Choi Chang-hwan. The story is set in a high school in Seoul and follows a group of top-performing students as they prepare for the important national college entrance exams. The students are all from different backgrounds and have different aspirations, but they share a common goal of success in academics.

As the students get ready for the exams, they begin to receive mysterious phone calls that seem to be coming from their school. The callers challenge them to solve a series of riddles and problems, and if they fail, one of their classmates will be killed. The students soon realize that the situation is far more dangerous than they initially anticipated, and they must work together to find the identity of the caller before more of them are killed.

Kim Bum plays Kang Hyeon, the top student in the school who is also the captain of the academic decathlon team. In-sook Choi plays headmaster Choi, the strict and stern head of the school who is determined to maintain the school's reputation. Da-Geon plays Jo Sang-wu, a quirky and nervous student who is part of Kang Hyeon's academic decathlon team.

The movie starts with a thrilling opening sequence in which a female student is killed in gruesome circumstances. From here, the action quickly ramps up as the students begin to receive the phone calls that start the deadly game. The movie is fast-paced and full of suspense, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the viewer on edge.

One of the most impressive things about Death Bell is the way it blends horror and thriller elements with social commentary. The movie explores themes of academic pressure, competition, privilege, and the dark side of success. The characters are all highly intelligent and ambitious, but they are also flawed and vulnerable. Some are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, while others struggle with self-doubt and anxiety. The movie raises important questions about the cost of success and the lengths people will go to achieve it.

Another strength of the movie is its visuals. The school setting is used to great effect, with the claustrophobic halls and classrooms adding to the suspense. The camera work is slick and dynamic, and there are some beautifully shot scenes that create a dream-like atmosphere. The special effects are also impressive, with the gore and violence adding to the feeling of dread.

The acting in Death Bell is generally strong, with Kim Bum and In-sook Choi standing out in particular. Kim Bum delivers a convincing performance as the cool and collected Kang Hyeon, while In-sook Choi is chilling as the stern and unforgiving headmaster. Da-Geon provides some much-needed comic relief as the nervous and bumbling Jo Sang-wu, but his character also has a deeper emotional arc that adds to the movie's depth.

Overall, Death Bell is an intense and thrilling horror-thriller movie that will satisfy fans of the genre. The movie is fast-paced, suspenseful, and visually stunning, with strong performances from the cast. But it also has a deeper message about the cost of success and the dark side of ambition that elevates it above the typical horror movie fare. If you're looking for a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat while also making you think, Death Bell is well worth your time.

Death Bell
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (3,147)