Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part 5 – Ok-su Station Ghost (Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost Prequel)

So, this is the last “Chills to Beat the Summer Heat” installment of the year. Though I have a ton of other scary shit to show and tell you about, Fall  is coming in less than two weeks –SIGH. For everyone out there who wondered if there was another Korean web comic by Studio Horang, the creator of the notoriously frightening Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost web comic that scares the living shit bejeezus out of everyone, wonder no more!

OK, if there’s anything to be learned from Studio Horang’s horror web comics, it’s that if you see a strangely-moving, out-of-place female figure anywhere near you, SPRINT the fuck away in the opposite direction and don’t stop till you’re home.

If  you were too scared to read the Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost web comic I posted earlier this summer, maybe you could check this one out. Oh, it’s scary, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just a notch less hit-the-ceiling scary than the Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost. Of course, for full effect, make sure the volume is on and watch in a dark room …alone.

…things in common with the other comic?. Strangely-moving figures that aren’t supposed to be somewhere… a sense of wrongness that becomes more and more pervasive… and a back-story revealed as an epilogue that will make the comic seem twice as chilling in perspective (do read those epilogues, by that point nothing else is going to swoop out at you, promise).

To the best of my understanding, this (as the site puts it) “special horror episode for the summer season” actually came before the BCD ghost story. That one was a sequel, which makes sense as it’s a complete show-stopper. You create something that scary (at some point I’ll put up one of the many, many “reaction videos” on You Tube, almost all of them documenting grown men screaming like schoolgirls when the big seat-jumper comes) then unless you can top it –doubtful– you just take a bow and step back gracefully.  This one is a different story, but since Studio Horang only created two of these, I think this one qualifies as a prequel. It’s got things in common with the other comic. Strangely-moving figures that aren’t supposed to be somewhere… a sense of wrongness that becomes more and more pervasive… and a back-story revealed as an epilogue that will make the comic seem twice as chilling in perspective (do read those epilogues, by that point nothing else is going to swoop out at you, promise). So…

Click here to read the Ok-Su Station Ghost Korean Web comic (English translation)
Try clicking here to read if you have trouble with the above URL; this link will take you to a deviantART ‘exit page’, then there’ll be a warning you are leaving deviantART (“Out There Be Monsters”-so of course you gotta click THAT option) with an outgoing link to click for the comic.**

While I haven’t been able to find anything else by the artist, and believe me, I’ve been looking, you can check out Studio Horang’s Facebook page here. Unfortunately, it’s in Korean, but if I find an English translation or any other official documentation, I promise to come back and post an update! Also, click here for an article on how South Koreans also beat summer heat with scares.

Until then …don’t talk to strangers, especially in Seoul.

**Note: if you STILL aren’t getting any links to the Ok-su Station Ghost story, drop me a comment below and I’ll try to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. You can also find my email address at the bottom of the “About” page on Horror Boom.

09/12/12: ooooooOOOOOO! Red Alert! BREAKING NEWS, updated 09/12/12! I’m 90% sure I discovered (OK, “stumbled blindly into” would be more accurate) a recent, ALL-NEW horror web comic by, you guessed it, Studio Horang! I’m looking thoroughly into it to find an English version, but if I can’t find one in the next week, I’ll post the Korean version, with links to help you translate. If it’s anything like the others, you’ll be too busy trying not to soil yourself to go to look up the text on a Korean–> English dictionary site. So check back! Ole Mrs. Horror Boom here will keep you covered on this development. Promise!
Keep your fingers crossed…

Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Three: Bongcheon-Dong

OK, I checked this out last week after a recommendation. It was way too hot for me inside, and actually just as baking-hot outdoors.  I didn’t notice the heat for at least ten minutes after I read this web-comic ghost story, written and illustrated by Horang.

The comic made the rounds in Korean first, and I’m pretty sure it was still scary as hell that way, it’s much more effective being able to know the actual story–much, MUCH creepier. If I say too much –well, just go in clean. That is, if you’re feeling brave. You’ll find the link (very clearly labelled by me, so no-one accidentally clicks on it) below…

A screen shot from the South Korean web comic Bong-Cheon-Dong. A shadow stretching towards her, out of the blue, on what was a deserted walkway. Creepy enough for you? It gets better!

Watch it with either headphones on and the sound turned medium-to-loud, or (like I did) with the volume setting on my laptop medium-to-loud. And no, this isn’t one of those cheap “scary maze game”  or “if you look closely enough at this photo for at least 30 second, you may be one of the people who sees the suggestion of a ghost” jumps. Yeah, those work the first time; anyone can make someone jump with a loud blast of noise and a representation of Samara Morgan suddenly appearing while you’re focusing on something else*. Real artists earn their scares, and this is one of them. After you click the link below, scroll down as you read the web-comic, get into the unsettling (at best) story, and let it wash over you… and see what happens.

Click here to read the Creepy-Ass Boncheon-Dong South Korean Ghost Story.


If you’re prone to panic attacks or anxiety, I’ve officially (if sort of retroactively) warned you about watching/reading after dark! Seriously, I don’t want anyone to start hyperventilating and pass out like Tony Soprano used to. OK, it’d probably take a lot of other scary things going on in your life to cause you to collapse to the floor in a dead faint, but still. I don’t even want to think how it would have affected my mood and insomnia if I hadn’t been mentally healthy and feeling fairly cool, calm, and collected when I read it! Keep the sound on, turn the lights down, and check out Boncheon-Dong. After people have had a chance to read it, I’ll go into the background. I actually want to find more from this comic series, because (unsurprisingly) the artists/writers know how to scare the living shit out of everyone …with finesse, might I add.

Let me know when you’ve read it…  and pleasant dreams! Did I mention this is an urban legend, but supposedly based on a true story? I’m a little hesitant to look into the background, even though I know it’s probably just an urban legend, because I may find more information than I need.

Update, 8/19/12: Showed this to my husband last night (yep, after dark), with the volume cranked, and as he was casually scrolling through, realized I was doing my Pilates/yoga breathing, a technique I learned not just to do doing a workout, but to calm down if I can feel myself starting to get jumpy or see red. Guess my body was ahead of my brain. This is a man who saw Insidious with me in the theater and barely changed his facial expression while at least half of the audience screamed in panic at over half a dozen BIG jump scares. If he did flinch, it was due to the fact he was sitting inches away from the loudest scream queen in the theater (me). Bongcheon-Dong made us both jump twice (and I knew what was coming) and prompted him to comment on the freakiness after the first jump and swear loudly the second. In fact, I had to nudge him a little to get him to finish reading the entire story.  So yeah, that’s his endorsement …and shortly after we finished and he fell asleep, I left more comfortable after I turned the fan down from the “High” to “Low” setting.

*By the way, have you seen (among the ton of ‘Funny Reaction to Scary Maze, Lol!’ videos on You Tube), the ones where they trick a kid clearly so young they were probably in Kindergarten at the time into watching it? And it’s usually one of the parents that gets the clever idea not only to scare their small child but RECORD it for laughs? I have a rule of thumb not to judge others on their parenting skills since it’s none of my business, but what the fuck is wrong with them? You deliberately frightened your kid to the point of tears? You think that’s a good idea? Really? If I put links up to any reaction videos to Bongcheon-Dong, it’s going to be of grown men (and there’s no shortage of those) who filmed themselves reading it. Now THAT is some funny shit.

Discovering The Host (Gwoemul)

…the memories are there, fresh as that night five years ago, when I forgot about everything that was not The Host for the two hours I watched, even the fact that I was sitting in a theater.

Five years ago on this very night*, I discovered the South Korean monster movie The Host. Five minutes ago, I accidentally deleted an elaborate, thoughtful post, because apparently I STILL haven’t learned my goddamned lesson about composing posts in RTF or MS Word format and ‘saving early and often’ before I post them.  I’ll add my post, because this is not only an amazing, flawless, highly entertaining horror movie, it has sentimental value for me on many different levels. For one, it led to me discovering that some of the finest films ever made were South Korean.

But enough of that for now, before I delete this too. Hey! Here’s the trailer!

Great Trailer- STILL Doesn’t Do the Movie Justice

Fun Fact:

Director Bong Joon-ho and the designer of the creature nicknamed it Steve Buscemi, based on the actor’s screen persona and the way he acted in the movie Fargo. ** (OK, the scene I linked to isn’t a great example, but I’ve seen that clip 100 times and it’ still gold every time.)  :

Not-So-Fun Fact:

The event described in the beginning of the film is based on an actual event. In February 2000 at a US military facility located in the center of Seoul, a US military civilian employee named Mr. McFarland was ordered to dispose of formaldehyde by dumping it into the sewer system that led to the Han River, despite the objection of a South Korean subordinate. The government attempted to prosecute Mr. McFarland in court, but the US military refused to hand over the custody of Mr. McFarland to the South Korean legal system. Later, a South Korean judge convicted Mr. McFarland in absentia. The public was enraged at the government’s inability to enforce its law on its own soil. In 2005, nearly five years after the original incident, Mr. McFarland was finally found guilty in a court in his presence. However, he never served the actual prison sentence, and there have been no sightings of a mutant creature in the Han River …yet. :

Though one of my least favorite qualities in a person and especially in myself is cynicism, I actually figured something along these lines had happened before I discovered the actual facts. One of the main complaints on message boards about this movie (not a valid one, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s up there, sadly) is that it is “Anti-U.S. Military”. Riiight, because there’s certainly no history of the US Military (especially during the Bush administration) making cowboy mistakes that result in going to other countries and ruining them over mis-information that no-one bothered to do much research on, then making up some total bullshit fabricating information to save face.

…and that’s not the worst news.

More to come soon.  It’ll also help add a little flavor to this post when I dig up my copy of the movie to watch it, but as I said (or DID before the fucking post vanished, grrr), the memories are there, fresh as that night five years ago, when I forgot about everything that was notThe Host for the two hours I watched, even the fact that I was sitting in a theater.


*March 19, 2007 – which happened to be one of the absolute shittiest months of my life, other than the evening I watched this kick-ass movie.

**Oh, screw it. One of Buscemi’s funniest lines in the movie (and every line he had was funny) that I doubt other Fargo fans will mind watching again:

Seven South Korean Crime/Revenge Dramas in Seven Days


Also known as “the reason I’ve gone, what, a week without posting anything”.  This did not go quite as planned.  Here’s the first thing I learned: don’t watch seven brutal revenge/crime thrillers from South Korea in  seven days! Especially if you’re feeling even just a little off-kilter. In my case, I blew off several facts I’m pretty well aware of, through years of experience with them, mainly:

  • I have Seasonal Winter Depression (also known as SAD , standing for Season Affective Disorder).** .
  • They don’t get less depressing on repeated viewings
  • I had PMS, which tends to make me ‘moody’, but more than moody: tense and VERY jumpy
  • and finally,  that even ONE well-made South Korean gritty crime/revenge thriller is enough to make you bummed out enough all day …let alone doing something really stupid like watching I Saw the Devil and No Mercy back-to-back (yep, I was that stupid).

So hey! it’s winter and I’m not getting enough sleep, so now would be a perfect time for an in-depth writing project consisting of an a series of reviews and general observations. Plus there’s that whole ‘7 in 7 days’ thing goin’ on! That sounds easy enough!

I’m organizing my articles now, and I can post the in-depth pieces in seven days in a row after. I actually  learned other things (besides  think twice before you watch seven of the most brutal Korean crime flicks ever made all in a short period of time). I learned other things that will actually be interesting, mostly cultural. Since I was too busy listening to and thinking about The Ramones when our classes covered it, I accidentally learned some history and culture along the way after I started seriously watching Asian horror/thrillers. I even learned cultural differences between mostly South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.

I’ll rattle off the movies I plan on covering, in no particular order of importance (or brutality):

  • Chaser
  • I Saw the Devil
  • No Mercy
  • The Unjust
  • The Man from Nowhere
  • Bedevilled
  • Memories of Murder

Why no Chan-Wook Park films? Because my  husband thoughtfully bought me, as a surprise gift,  the “Vengence Box Set” which I think has six discs (Rick, can I marry you AGAIN?), and I plan on doing a piece on all three. A  loooong  project there (or at least a very long series of articles).

Only one of the above does NOT have an exceptionally dark ending which ends up with multiple character’s lives being destroyed.  OK, possibly two, but by the end of the rest of these movies, there’s really no winners among the characters here. Though if the audience counts, then we win for getting to see some of the most brilliant, suspenseful crime movies ever made! Now here’s some cool dialogue I hope you enjoy. I know I did!

the Man from Nowhere

Tae-Sik Cha: You live only for tomorrow.
Man-seok: What?
Tae-Sik Cha: The ones that live for tomorrow, get fucked by the ones living for today.
Man-seok: What are you babbling about?
Tae-Sik Cha: I only live for today. I’ll show you just how fucked up that can be.

I Saw the Devil

Kim Soo-hyeon: I will kill you when you are in the most pain. When you’re in the most pain, shivering out of fear, then I will kill you. That’s a real revenge. A real complete revenge.

So, it turns out that most of the movies I listed above HAVE no quotes on the IMDB. Good thing I wrote them down!

And finally, here’s the best trailer for I Saw the Devil. This is the trailer that had me searching online for a work print. There was only one on you tube, and it only had English subtitles for the first 10 minutes. After that, it was all in Korean, and I’m hardly fluent. I still watched it online, though, because I was so psyched about this movie I couldn’t wait 5 months to rent it on DVD. It was worth it, and because of the excellent storytelling you still get the general idea. Also, I got to see a couple scenes that aren’t on the DVD release, because they had to be trimmed to get the movie released AT ALL in South Korea.

This isn’t a Red Band trailer, but it is pretty intense. If you’ve been on the fence about seeing this movie because you’re worried about it being too violent, then here’s a good way to find out; if the trailer disturbs you, I highly recommend that you skip the movie. Up to you, everyone has their own level of what crosses the line for them. I wouldn’t blame you for avoiding the movie due to this trailer. However, I can’t help saying too bad, because you’re not just missing a jaw-dropping, carefully crafted revenge flick  from South Korea, you’ve simply missing one of the best modern crime thrillers ever made.

After I watch a couple more cartoons featuring Yosemite Sam (and maybe a repeat watch of 30 Minutes of Less),  to lighten up after OD’ing on brutal South Korean revenge movies, I’ll start posting about them!

**Even when everything in my life couldn’t be going better, and I’ve got nice happy positive vibes, I get SAD to some degree. “You’re just not getting enough light,” is usually the advice I got. Makes sense, okay. In college, in fact, I recall a therapist urging me to go get a special UV light. Unfortunately,  no-one bothered to mention the fact that you can’t use it just any time of the day. Furthermore (and we’re talking about people with normal sleep cycles who have coffee to get them going in the morning), back then at least, you needed to set your alarm an hour early, turn on the BRIGHT light, then sit there trying to stay awake for an hour. Even back then, I really, really hated mornings. I tried to avoid registering for any class starting before 9:30 AM. “You only can use it before the sun comes up in the morning and if you do it after dark, there’s a 99% chance it’ll cause insomnia,” my doctor (who waited way too long to convey this info) patiently explained.  Oh, and it “doesn’t really kick in for 3 months”.  At that rate, it’ll be time to set the clocks forward an hour and I’d feel way better regardless. This year, I think right around the time Spartacus: Vengeance wraps up the season (sniffle) is when it’ll kick in. So, this year hasn’t been too bad. And update-Daylight Savings starts this weekend. Yay.