DVD Review by David Blackwell
DETAILS: 92 minutes, director/producer commentary, behind the scenes featurette, original theatrical trailer, and Tartan
Asia Extreme previews
STUDIO: Tartan/ E Tube Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 7-25-2006
CELLO is an effective movie that continues to screw with the mind of the main character further as the movie goes on. Mi-ju
is a former cello player who is now a part-time music instructor with a husband and two kids. She is still disturbed by the
death of a fellow student from her music school days. When a mute housekeeper is hired, strange things start to happen starting
with the dog barking, Mi-ju's oldest daughter wanting to play the cello, and the death of her husband's sister. CELLO is an
effective horror film, but the ending for me just makes me hate it. It just renders everything before it useless just like
the ending of DONNIE DARKO did. Even a little twist at the end screams sequel, but it comes too late. The damage is done by
the twist which was telegraphed at the beginning in a way, but it should have been part of the weirdness instead and not just
loop back to it. Just like THE BOOTH, layers are peeled back and more is revealed about Mi-ju's past friendship with her dead
friend. I just wish they did the ending differently and left it with the mind screw.
The music takes the film to another
type of class of horror film. CELLO had me engaged. Still I hate what they did at the ending. It is one of the type of cop-out
endings that I hate. Is CELLO one of the good horror efforts from South Korea? Yes. Better than some of the dreck coming out
in the USA? Definitely. The director of the film reminded me of what if Italian horror director Dario Argento was Asian and
tried to tell a story instead of being more style than substance.
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
Image detail is great. Colors and blacks are good. Another good transfer from Tartan.
AUDIO: Korean 5.1 Dolby Digital, Korean 5.1 DTS, Korean 2.0 DS
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Surround action isn't bad and the music come across. Subtitles are easy to understand. An added bonus is the audio commentary
also has a Spanish subtitle option for those who speak Spanish.
SPECIAL FEATURES: The audio commentary for CELLO is with Director Chul Woo and Producer Sung Do Park. It is an information
packed commentary that describes the challenges of shooting it in 40 days, the actors only having a month to learn the cello
(so they needed substitutes for some scenes), changes in the script, scenes they weren't happy with, and editing it down from
120 minutes to 93 minutes (I wish they had deleted scenes on this DVD). The behind the scenes featurette with the cast and
crew drags a little bit, but you do see a couple of actresses learning the cello, the gore scenes, and a birthday party. Also
included is the original theatrical trailer (but the TV spot listed on the back cover isn't here) and trailers of other Tartan
Asia Extreme releases.
COVER ART: Fantastic and creepy.
FINAL ANALYSIS: CELLO in an interesting horror effort from South Korea which has an ending which left me cold, but maybe
a second viewing will change my mind a little after listening to the audio commentary.
this review is (c)7-19-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link
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