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The Wig


Hair is scary. Creepy times from The Wig.
AKA: Scary Hair  
Year: 2005  
Director: Won Sin-Yeon  
  Cast: Chae Min-Seo, Yoo Seon, Sa Hyeon-Jin
  The Skinny: A demonic wig causes a cancer patient to do some very bad things in this otherwise by-the-numbers variation on the typical Asian horror plotline. The proceedings are enlivened considerably by a daring last act surprise, but aside from a few creepy moments, The Wig offers little in the way of genuine scares.
Review by Calvin McMillin:      If you can get past the patently ridiculous premise of a killer hairpiece (the film's unintentionally hilarious alternate title Scary Hair just about says it all, doesn't it?), then The Wig might actually come close to satisfying your basic horror movie needs, albeit in a predictable, somewhat underwhelming fashion. Directed by Won Sin-Yeon, The Wig focuses on the close relationship between two sisters, and the possessed item that threatens to tear them apart. Spooky.
     In an effort to cheer up her little sister, Chi-Hyon (Yoo Seon) gives her cancer-stricken sibling Su-Hyon (Chae Min-Seo) a beautiful black wig in the hopes that it'll boost her self-esteem. Bald from chemotherapy treatments, Su Hyon happily dons the new hairpiece and almost instantly, she finds herself regaining not only her confidence, but her health as well. This is clearly no ordinary wig.
     But of course, this isn't a magically enchanted wig, at least not in the positive sense. In truth, it's actually a wig with an ulterior motive. Slowly, the wig begins influencing Su Hyon in ways she never anticipated, taking control of her mind, body, and soul. Not only does it begin changing her personality, but her appearance as well. But to what purpose? All sorts of weird things start happening around-Su Hyon, perhaps the worst being that Chi-Hyon is caught in a terrible car accident, one that causes her to suffer an injury that robs her of her voice. Soon after, a sizeable rift emerges between the two women, especially since the now sexually aggressive Su-Hyon sets out to seduce her elder sister's boyfriend. Talk about sibling rivalry.
     As the film wears on, Chi-Hyon slowly pieces together the clues, believing the wig to be haunted. Consequently, she searches tirelessly to uncover the wig's true origin, a quest that eventually takes her straight to the very source. But is Chi-Hyon meant to help this spirit in distress? And is it really just a coincidence that the wig fell into Su-Hyon's hands? Or is there something far more sinister going on here? The truth may prove to be more shocking than what any audience member might guess.
     The Wig follows the basic genre conventions of a horror film, but exactly how chilling this movie is depends on how you react to the killer wig. If you accept it as an instrument of terror, then The Wig can make for a fairly creepy film as far as these things go. It's certainly a grisly picture at times - a gory moment when Su-Hyon expels pills through her skull is sure to make some viewers squirm in their seats. But despite the horrific imagery scattered throughout the film, the truth of the matter is The Wig isn't that scary, especially if you're familiar with formulaic horror conventions.
     But if one views the film more as a supernatural mystery than a horror film, then the lack of overt scares seems less important. Although some may feel the film's final revelation comes out of nowhere, it's remarkable that the filmmakers opted for such a risqué twist. In the large scheme of things, it may not be that much of a big deal, but it does help separate The Wig from the dozens of Ring knockoffs, all of which seem to share the same explanation for their ghostly happenings. However, despite the innovative surprise, once the narrative mystery is "solved," the film unravels into a protracted, teary-eyed finale meant to elicit the maximum amount of tears. It's a melodramatic touch that doesn't quite work.
     That isn't to say that The Wig is a terrible film. Slickly produced and spooky in places, the movie does what it aims to do, but really nothing more. And for diehard fans of the Asian horror craze, The Wig should make for a fairly entertaining late night diversion. But for the rest of us, it's just another familiar trip to the Ring well. (Calvin McMillin, 2005)
Availability: DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
CJ Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Korean Subtitles
Various Extras
   
   
 
 
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