“Contains a perfect balance of three different genres”

by Nav Qateel

Ever since he was a small boy, high-school student In-su (Ha-neul Kang) has been able to see see ghosts. His gift has made him a loner, and after an incident involving a dead girl’s murderer, In-su had to move away. In-su returns to his childhood home, which is now occupied by his agoraphobic exorcist uncle Sun-il (Jung-Tae Kim). He starts back at his old school, where he becomes the victim of a small group of bullies. He also meets a beautiful girl who turns out to be a ghost (So-eun Kim). When a ghost known as The Mask, begins to murder students from his class, In-su and his uncle try to stop it.

In Mourning Grave, first-time director In-chun Oh has blended together romance, horror and comedy, with a great deal of success. Fans of Asian cinema, particularly Japanese film fans, will undoubtedly be very familiar with this sort of tale. (School settings are a staple of Japanese cinema, and South Korean to a lesser degree.) The comedy is fairly limited, but what little there is is just as effective as the romance and horror aspect of the film. In fact, most of the comedy is down to the agoraphobic Uncle’s shenanigans.

Mourning Grave
Directed by
In-chun Oh
Ha-neul Kang, So-eun Kim, Jung-tae Kim, Hye-lin Han
Release Date
November 2014
Nav’s Grade: B

In-su is played by first-time actor Ha-neul Kang. Ha-neul has a background in stage musicals, and his performance was pretty solid. His character is very quiet and withdrawn, but it isn’t until the final scenes of the film, that you realise just how well he performed In-su. This is when his character changes, although, I won’t go into anymore detail for fear of spoiling the ending.

The stunning So-eun Kim plays In-su’s dead love interest, and just like In-su, her character also goes through some major changes during the film. Both these young actors do a decent job, and thanks to the chemistry between the pair, the romance comes across as genuine. The rest of the cast are also a credit to Mourning Grave, especially the main couple who bully our hero.

First and foremost Mourning Grave is a horror, and director In-chun handled this part of the film with surprising skill, for this being only his first feature-length movie. Mourning Grave should please most folk as it contains a perfect balance of three different genres, and with an appealing cast of young actors, this is a film that’s worth going out of your way to see.