[Review] WARNING FROM HELL [Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival]: Bullies Learn A Supernatural Lesson

Fair warning: There is no actual warning from Hell in writer/director Danny Pang’s latest feature, Malaysia/Taiwan/Thailand coproduction Warning from Hell. There are, indeed, some ghostly goings-on, and revenge seeking of the spectral sort, but Pang here instead delivers a film meant to get an important message about bullying across rather than honing in solely on attempting to shock audiences.

Lily is a live streamer who, as the film begins, learns that her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend. She begins stealing items that include, both fortunately and unfortunately for her, a haunted smartphone. When vengeance from beyond the grave affects her personally and begins taking its toll on other young women similar to her in age, it sends Lily on a path to solve the mystery behind the hauntings.

A cast list in English was not available at press time, but the film’s actors include Dewi Chien, Yaomi Fairy, Yen-Jou Lin, Daphne Low, and Riko Xi. All of the performances are fine, and although Pang — who codirected The Eye, The Eye 2, and The Messengers with brother Oxide Chun Pang, and helmed The Strange House by himself — follows some familiar ghost movie beats, he also implements some compelling surprises, as well as a good deal of well-earned poignancy.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Warning from Hell screened as part of South Korea’s hybrid Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, which takes place in Bucheon and online July 7–17, 2022. For more information, visit http://www.bifan.kr/eng/.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.