Aspiring director Mi-jung struggles to come up with ideas for a new horror film until her friend Jun-seo tells her about a mysterious film rumored to be shot by a ghost. While researching it, she begins to write a new screenplay about her hunt for this “ghost film.” But as she gets closer to the truth, the line between her film and her life begins to blur.
Starring: Seo Ye-ji, and Jin Sun-kyu
Directed by: Kim Jin-won
If you’ve followed my reviews over the last couple of months you know that I’ve become a big fan of South Korean zombie films. They've managed to make zombies truly terrifying, and now comes an opportunity to watch a South Korean film about a ghost that's hopefully even more frightening. However, this one comes with a warning… do not play! Well of course I hit play, and here’s what I thought of “Warning: Do Not Play.”
Like any writer/director, Mi-Jung (Ye-ji Seo) is trying to come up her next great idea for a horror film. She’s struggling to come up with something worthwhile until one of her friends tells her a story about a film made by a ghost. It’s hard to believe, but makes for an interesting story for sure. Mi-Jung takes it upon herself to do some research about this film and ghost while beginning to write her own story.
It’s not going to be easy for her because the film has been well hidden, almost as if it was never made. She won’t stop until she finally meets with the director (Jin Sun-kyu), and this story gets even stranger. He’s freaked out, and basically tells her to forget about it, which of course she doesn’t. She follows him back to his home where she finally gets her hands on the copy of the film.
Hopefully the audience has followed along closely to this point because they’re going to have follow even closer now. The line between the film she’s researching, and the one she’s making starts to cross. Her friend helps her get the video to play, and it basically shows the making of the original film. It’s here that she finds out about a woman named Soon-Mi, who apparently might have died in the theater. She’s the one who haunted the director, and now has her eyes set on Mi-Jung. It’s been a lot about solving the mystery to this point, but now the true horror surfaces.
The movie is very dark in places, especially when the ghost comes around. While it makes a few good brief appearances earlier on, she’s truly terrifying in the final scene. They never give the audience a great view of her, instead keeping her face in flashes of red light. She seems to have some hair over her face that mixed with the flashes of light help bring out the intensity of the moment. The audience gets to see her hunt down some of the original crew members before turning her attention to Mi-Jung.
While there are moments when the story might get a little confusing, it eventually all gets explained. The audience finds out exactly what the director did, and how he became haunted by the ghost. His story turns out to be very dark, and Mi-Jung should have listened to his warnings. Instead, she ends up playing the role of the curious cat, and takes her investigation to the point of no return. She finally comes face-to-face with the ghost in a creepy and intense final scene. And just when the audience might relax, the film has one more moment that reminds it who's film they all just watched. I’m glad I ignored the warning, and hit play on this fantastic supernatural horror film. I give it 3 pools of blood and can’t wait for more horror from South Korea!
More info about the film at: http://promotehorror.com/2020/06/09/warning-do-not-play-premiering-on-shudder/