Evil Children, Monsters and Ghosts - Oh My!
Just then a young boar came dashing by, and the huntsman stabbed it to death. He took out the lungs and liver and brought them to the queen as proof that the child was dead. The cook was ordered to boil them in salt, and the wicked woman ate them and thought that she had eaten Snow White’s lungs and liver.
Singing mice and poofy dresses are surprisingly absent in real fairy tales. Instead they are rife with monsters, deceit, cannibalism, murder. Real fairy tales belong to the horror genre.
About four years ago I was aimlessly channel surfing. Of course, with hundreds of choices I couldn't find anything worth watching. I would often scan past the Korean channels, noting the curious titles of the programs - Mom's Dead Upset, The Coffee Prince, Pretty Lady Chit Chat, My Precious You. This day I finally settled on some program called Mom's Dead Upset and found it to be far better than anything on American television. So began my adoration of Korean tv.
Fast forward to the now. I'm not sure how I found it - maybe it was this trailer commercial on KBS or perhaps I just turned it on one day this past summer. Either way, Grudge: Revolt Of Gumiho mini-series, is currently consuming my life.
A traditional Korean fairy tale concerning a Gumiho, (or Kumiho) is the foundation for this historical drama. Propelling the story is the nine year old daughter of nobility, who is described as being cursed and suffers a "strange disease." The father is told the only cure to save his beloved child, Cho Ok, is to "... find the child born the same year, same month, same day." When this child turns ten years old, his daughter must eat the liver of the child in order to live.
Evil children, monsters, ghosts, zombies, cannibalism, possession - Grudge: Revolt Of Gumiho has it all , against a lush backdrop of period costumes, beautiful scenery, wonderful FX, an unforgettable soundtrack and some of the greatest acting I've ever seen anywhere.
This show and the horrific, yet achingly beautiful imagery depicted in Gumiho is something American tv or film would never touch, and even if we attempted it, it would not be done with so much depth and beauty. There are so many moments of visual horror in this series that will haunt me for years to come - not to mention the emotional horror evoked. I do not get emotional easily - there are only three film moments that can elicit tears from me, yet I was sobbing on my couch and clutching at poor Mr. Blackwood during more than one episode.
We were like children during our Gumiho viewing marathon yesterday, gasping and yelling out loud - jumping up on the couch and yelling "OHMYGOD!!!" - Mr. Blackwood says he can only compare it to Lost or Star Wars in it's epic storytelling style and I have to agree. We have two episodes left - I cannot bear for it to end.