Curse’s spooky concept has a haunting quality to it. There appears to be an abandoned hospital in an old high school building. And if you’re in a wheelchair with your back to the door in this run-down room, the ghost of the school nurse will arrive to give you a wish. I wouldn’t put my confidence in myself to tell you the truth. But that’s exactly the purpose.
Summary for Episode 7 of Season 1 of School Tales The Series.
“Curse” starts by explaining why someone would go to such lengths. On any program about kids, the real stuff is always more terrible than the supernatural, isn’t it? That is how we first meet Korn, a student who is brutally tormented by his peers. When the logistics of their plan don’t quite work, they force him to be strapped in the old infirmary to the wheelchair and tell him to wish for their success. His tormentors A, Bom, and Mint intend to use him to ensure that they pass their midterm exams by first getting him to give them the answers.
I’m sure you can understand where this idea falls short. Mint also acknowledges it. She advises they go check on Korn in the old building after they are belittled by a hazily sympathetic instructor who informs them that they would be held back for a year if they fail their examinations, especially considering their bullying. Otherwise, how would they be able to tell whether he had made a wish for them? However, the lads convince her otherwise and go, leaving Korn on his alone.
The fact that we rarely ever catch a view of the nurse’s ghost other than in brief flashes as she creeps around behind drapes and the like indicates that this is more of a societal horror than a supernatural one.
Nothing would frighten someone who has seen a horror film or television show at any time in their lives, despite the clever use of shadows. However, the nurse gives Korn’s desire rather than harming him.
A and Mint find Korn when he flees the old building and returns to the main structure. A few other kids find Bom’s body at the same time. Bom was the first to go; in what is aesthetically a fairly fantastic one moment, the nurse telekinetically drops a whirling drill through his head as Korn admits with a chuckle that he didn’t want them to pass all of their examinations, he wanted them all to die.
There is some catharsis in seeing A and Mint receive their due after spending so much time witnessing Korn be needlessly tortured. That doesn’t stop Korn from being bullied by all the other pupils, which is the issue he runs into. But now, seeking retribution, he dashes back to the hospital and makes one more wish, this time wishing for the demise of those who harass him. But there are a lot of them. The nurse reveals that for the first three, she didn’t ask for anything in return. He is already three fingers behind as the price has increased to one body part for each death. The nurse goes through the 33 persons that upset Korn as he attempts in vain to retract his desire, and Korn rots in anguish piece by piece.
What’s the takeaway from this? In that context, it seems a little like “tell people you’re being bullied and you’ll get ready for it,” which is hardly a message I encourage. Probably something about retaliation, which has a cost, to be honest.
This Saniphong Suddhiphun episode is in an unfortunate position in this Thai horror anthology since the concept of school bullying has been overused and overdone. The series seems to need a more serious slasher scare, therefore it’s wonderful to see one now. (Even though “7 AM,” the first episode, might be categorized as a slasher, it felt less intense in comparison.)
Overall, “Curse” comes out as overly moralistic even while it is unsure of the message it’s attempting to convey. Its core message seems to be “everyone is punished-no matter what,” which could be OK if you prefer your horror with a side of extra violence.
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