- Baek Sung Hyun as Park Moo Yul
- Kim Young Kwang as Jo Young Jae
- Lee Soo Hyuk as Yoon Su
- Kwak Jung Wook as Yang Kang Mo
- Hong Jong Hyun as Lee Jae Kyu
- Esom as Yoon Eun Sung
- Kim Hyun Joong as Kang Mi Reu
- Sung Joon as Choi Chi Hoon
- Jung Suk Won as Yoon Jong Il
- Kim Sang Kyung as Kim Yo Han
- Lee El as Oh Jung Hye
“Are Monsters Born, or Created?”
Ok. I’ll try to write this without spoiling too much. It’s a thriller drama with psychological twists and some mysteries to solve. The place setting was in a prestigious private boarding school in the middle of nowhere (an isolated suburban area), which is extremely hard to get into. The students comprise of the top 0.1% of all the students in South Korea. Being a top ranked school, the schedule was so tight and the only vacation days of every year was christmas break: 8 days from Christmas Eve to the first day of new year.
The story begins with some students who didn’t go home on christmas break.. And they were all there because of a same reason: a mysterious suicide letter had sent to them. At first their sole purpose was to break the secret behind this suspicious letter, but then some unexpected things occured. Each of them—the students and all the casts—has their own problem and eventually each one has to face them: the pasts, fears, insecurities, secrets..
Being an ivy league prestigious school’s student, one must be either a genius or a hardworker. Everyone proud of them. But will it prevent someone from being a monster?
First impressions – Surprise, surprise.. It’s only 8 episodes and it’s Korean. Well I guess White Christmas is not the only short Korean drama ever made, but it is the only one I’ve watched. They’re usually at least 16 episodes long, sometimes filled with draggy dramatic scenes. So I am expecting something different..
(This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!)
Actually I was really impressed of this drama. I like it so much I nearly rate it a masterpiece (5/5). Except for the fact that I wasn’t really curious halfway. It was after the 4th episode that I dropped it for a while—about a week I guess, I don’t remember exactly. It was a cliffhanger, but deep inside I was a little bit disappointed about the doctor being a murderer.. It’s too predictable. He’s there, came into the picture from out of nowhere when all the students seems innocent. Like driving alone on Christmas eve on remote mountain area wasn’t suspicious..really? And even more spoiling, the opening music video always start with his face—of course because he was the main character! I knew there’s something off with him. And watching him being exposed just like that, at the end of the 4th episode.. well duh.
I admit what caused me dropped it for a while not solely because I lost curiosity, but I was also in the middle of deadline for some assignments.. I usually get a lot more picky those days. Aside from those spoiler parts, I really like this drama. Although the first episode was a little bit slow paced, like there were random facts presented without any relations between each other. Maybe that’s because they want to give some clue on the first episode, some introductions, to make the leaked secrets on the last episodes more surprising. But they had to do it in the subtlest way so no one would notice.. so that’s why the first episode is usually boring.
I love its wicked story and its wicked ending. Well I always hate sad-ending, but for me the definition of sad ending is when the main characters didn’t meet their objective in the end. Fortunately this movie isn’t one of them. Their initial goal was to know who sent the letter and to survive until the end of vacation. And they did. Except for Yoon Su, the handsome angel who died in the end.. I mourned his death, but at some point his death means something: ‘The Angel refused to be a monster, he chose to die instead.’ That’s a good twist. I think the creepiest moment was when the doctor said “I won” and died. It wasn’t even presented as the actual scene. It was when Mu Yeol recalled his memory in the interrogation room.. And he kept it to himself. Like refused to admit his loss, but realized that it’s the truth. That’s a clever way to end it.
One particular part of the story that made me emotional was when Cho Chi Hoon ‘being murdered’. I can’t accept the fact that he died. Being a genius with emotionless face, thanks to the damage of his right brain.. he’s exceptionally cute. So the feeling of relieved when they found out he’s still alive: Priceless. Oh, and I agree with Mad Mi Reu about Jung Hye being much more prettier than Eun Sung. They even said that Eun Sung was crowned as the prettiest girl of the school.. I don’t mean to be rude, but I think she looks too old to be a highschooler.
Overall I love this drama, love the plot and mysteries, but I don’t think I would watch it again in the near future. There’s no fun if we already know the secrets. Right?