This, the first episode of a Korean TV series of five hour-long movies, disturbed me in a way I haven’t been affected by a Korean movie since the incredible, mind-swirling R-Point. There’s a reason for that: they share the same director, Su-chang Kong. While Coma isn’t as intricately plotted as R-Point, I’m able to forgive the simplicity. It’s TV, ya know? Very high quality, nightmarish TV.
A hospital is going through the process of closing down due to accusations of malpractice. As we enter the world of this empty, tomb-like structure, a nurse is losing her shit because some builders opened an old door. Clearly, something very frightening was sealed in there. We don’t find out what, exactly, yet, but this is a series, so we will. Still, we know enough to be as upset as she is, although safely behind a screen, of course.
Meanwhile, a woman who works for an insurance company is trying to work out the details of moving a coma patient from this hospital. The patient happens to be the last patient in the building. Through flashbacks we learn that Insurance Girl had a sister who went missing from the hospital in 1995, or did she die? And how is the coma patient connected? Wait, was a doctor just murdered? It’s all very much like the best Korean ghost movies, in which the ghosts can take you to alternate realities where you’re not sure what is real, or simply on a trip to be trapped in the morgue.
I think we only meet the ghost once in this episode. Once was enough. I’m not sure why she’s still hanging around, but I can’t wait to watch the other four movies and find out. One thing I do know is that I wouldn’t want to meet her personally. I watched this alone in the house in the middle of the afternoon, and I still felt like the room temperature had dropped five degrees. I was also very glad when someone came home and I was forced to watch the rest later. If you love getting the creeps, find this series! And remember: don’t wander the halls of an empty hospital at night, no matter what kind of amateur detective you think you are, because it might cost you your life or your mind.