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Folklore - Season 1, Episode 6: "Mongdal" TV Episode Review

Written by Angry Scholar

Released by HBO Asia

Folklore S01 Large


Directed by Lee Sang-Woo
2018, Not Rated
Episode premiered on November 11th, 2018

Starring:
Eun-jeong Choi
Jeong Yun Seok
Jeong min Seok
Lee Chae Yeon

Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 01 Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 02

Review:

Dong-Joo is a disturbed student with an unhealthy obsession with a female classmate, Seo-Woo. When Seo-Woo spurns his affections, he drowns himself in the reservoir. Returning as a mongdal—the ghost of a young man who died a virgin—Dong-Joo will only be propitiated by a virginal female ghost, who will become his bride. A shaman convinces Dong-Joo’s mother to dig up the body of a recent teenaged suicide, whose body is still intact. The shaman performs a ritual to marry the two spirits, but Dong-Joo apparently isn’t happy with his new wife, so his doting mother concocts a new plan to set him up with the woman he really wants.

“Mongdal,” like most of Folklore’s offerings, has solid acting, better-than-average cinematography, and, on paper, an interesting plot. Also in common with the rest of the series, it’s very boring. The supernatural doesn’t enter the picture until the midway point, and by then there’s so little runtime left that the ghostly stuff feels as though it’s been hastily grafted onto an otherwise unremarkable Korean high school (or possible middle school) drama. Put another way, Whispering Corridors this ain’t.

Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 03 Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 04

The plot again feels ultimately unimportant. Nobody is especially sympathetic, except Seo-Woo, who has done nothing to deserve the psychotic Dong-Joo’s attentions and even tried (briefly) to befriend him. But even her innocence in the face of Dong-Joo’s madness fails to make her a truly compelling figure, due partly to the melodramatic production and partly due to the actor’s youth and fairly limited screen time.

Folklore’s final episode has little to commend it besides the setting, and the tiny grain of knowledge it offers about a very specific type of ghost. If you really want great Korean horror, watch Wishing Stairs or the inimitable A Tale of Two Sisters. But give this one a pass.

Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 05 Folklore S01 E06 Mongdal 06

Grades:

Episode: Twoandahalfstars Folklore S01 Small
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Folklore S01 E01 Folklore S01 E02 Folklore S01 E03 Folklore S01 E04 Folklore S01 E05

Click on a cover to read more episode reviews of Folklore: Season 1.

About The Author
Angry Scholar Staff
Staff Writer
Angry Scholar loves the supernatural, proprietary Scottish fabrics, video games, and frozen dairy treats. He has a blog where he obsesses over these things. Creaking old castles, lights over the moors, and ghostly faces in the shadows are his raison d'être. Because, you know. He has no life, but damn he looks good in tweed.
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