Dead Friend movie poster
|Directed by||Kim Tae-gyeong|
|Produced by||Jeong Oh-young|
|Written by||Kim Tae-gyeong|
|Music by||Choi Wan-hee
|Edited by||Kim Yong-su|
Dead Friend (Hangul: 령; RR: Ryeong; lit. "The Ghost") is a 2004 South Korean horror film. It is one of a number of South Korean horror films set in a girl's high school; the trend began with 1998's Whispering Corridors.
Three high school girls are bored while studying for their test the next day, so they decide to conduct a séance with a bunshinsaba - a traditional Korean ouija board. As the spirit is called by Eun-jung (Lee Yoon-ji), her sister, Eun-seo (Jeon Hye-bin), wakes up screaming. Eun-seo goes to her sister's room and scolds the girls for doing the séance rather than studying. Before going to sleep, Eun-jung jokingly wishes that the ghost had taken Eun-seo away and that if they do not send the ghost away, it will kill them. The girls are unaware as Eun-seo is killed by a ghostly-water presence in the kitchen.
After a visit to her doctor, the amnesiac Min Ji-won (Kim Ha-neul), who is an expert swimmer, is told there is a high chance that she may regain her memories back. She tells her former boyfriend, Park Jun-ho (Ryu Jin), whom she does not remember since her losing her memories, that she will leave college and her mother (Kim Hae-sook) to go overseas and find a new life. However, Ji-won begins to have nightmares of a ghost from her forgotten past, which seems to be connected to water and which soon manifests itself in reality. She is confronted by an estranged friend, Yu-jung (Jeon Hee-ju), who tells her of Eun-seo's death and that because of Ji-won's action in the past, "Su-in" is coming for them. Yu-jung is soon found dead right after her meeting with Ji-won.
Ji-won slowly remembers that she used to lead an elitist clique back in high school which consisted of herself, Eun-seo, Yu-jung, and Mi-kyung. Before she became part of the clique, Ji-won was friends with Su-in (Nam Sang-mi), but her ego turned her to regard the introverted Su-in as a laughing stock while still pretending to be her friend. Ji-won visits her last remaining clique member, Mi-kyung (Shin Yi), who is confined to a mental hospital, but the latter lashes out at Ji-won for bringing Su-in back. Ji-won learns from Su-in's mother (Choi Ran) that the event that led to her amnesia was a trip to a forest with her clique and Su-in, from which Su-in never came back. She races to save Mi-kyung but is too late to stop her from being drowned to death by the ghost.
Heading to a spring in the forest, Ji-won remembers the full event: Ji-won was thrown to the spring as a joke, but upon learning that she could not swim, Su-in dived to save her. While Ji-won was saved, Su-in herself got stuck in the riverbed and drowned, with her body not decomposing due to the chemicals in the water. Ji-won alerts the authorities and informs Su-in's grieving mother of the fact.
Thinking everything have ended, Ji-won returns to her mother, only to realize the horrifying truth: Ji-won and Su-in had swapped bodies during their struggle to get out of the spring. "Ji-won" did not lose her memories because she has never been Ji-won in the first place; she is actually Su-in. Ji-won's spirit has been terrorizing her and the clique to regain her body back, and now she inhabits her mother. Su-in manages to grab a broken vase to repel Ji-won and escapes from the house to be rushed to the hospital by Jun-ho. Su-in is later seen walking through the fish market where her mother, who believes her daughter had died, works. She leaves the market after hesitating for a while, while her mother looks ominously at her, implying that Ji-won is still attempting to regain her body by possessing Su-in's mother.
- Kim Ha-neul - Min Ji-won
- Nam Sang-mi - Su-in
- Ryu Jin - Park Jun-ho
- Jeon Hye-bin - Eun-seo
- Shin Yi - Mi-kyung
- Jeon Hee-ju - Yu-jung
- Lee Yoon-ji - Eun-jung
- Choi Ran - Su-in's mother
- Gi Ju-bong - Detective
- Kim Hae-sook - Ji-won's mother
- Greena Park - Yu-jung's friend
- Joo Da-young - young Su-in