Review: ‘301, 302’

This feminist horror story from Korea is sluggishly paced and confusingly told with flashbacks within flashbacks. Outside offests, theatrical outlook is DOA.

This feminist horror story from Korea is sluggishly paced and confusingly told with flashbacks within flashbacks. Outside offests, theatrical outlook is DOA.

Things kick off with the woman (Eun-Jin Pang) in apartment 301 of a high-rise being asked what has become of her neighbor (Sin-Hye Hwang) in 302. She claims to know nothing. But in flashbacks we learn that she is an obsessive cook who has been trying to share the results of her creativity; unfortunately, the neighbor is an anorexic writer who has given up eating and ends up throwing out the food.

As the two women get to know each other, they reveal dark secrets from their pasts: The writer was molested as a teenager and also inadvertently caused the death of a child who played hide-and-seek by locking herself in a freezer. Cumulative trauma has killed her appetite. For her part, the cook took revenge on her cheating husband by cooking the family dog.

When they have finished relating their stories, there is a gruesome solution to how the cook can alleviate the writer’s pain; its obviousness doesn’t make it any more satisfying.

Uninvolving characterizations combine with the grotesque denouement to result in pic that may surface briefly in specialized situations before landing in the disposal.

301, 302

South Korean

Production

A Morning Calm Cinema Inc. presentation of a 1st Film production. Produced, directed by Chul-Soo Park. Executive producer, Kyung-Sung Hwang, Screenplay, Suh-Goon Lee.

Crew

Camera (color), Eun-Gil Lee; editor, Gok-Ji Park; music, Sung-Ryong Byun; sound, Dae-Sung Kang. Reviewed on video-cassette, Boston, Sept. 2, 1995. (In Boston, Vancouver film festivals.) Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Eun-Jin Pang. Sin-Hye Hwang.
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