Original Title: 삼거리극장; Director: Jeon Kye-soo; Casts: Kom Kkot-bi, Chun Ho-jin, Jo Hee-bong, Park Joon-myeon; Country: South Korea; Year:2006


I remember wondering if Mr. Tolkien fancied these two words —because his hobbits did!— queer and unnatural, as they seemed to be everywhere in Lord of The Ring books. And I thought of those two words on Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theatre. No wonder there, since it was recommended to me as being Tim-Burtonesque.

Seo So-dan’s search for her grandmother takes her to a movie theatre. Waiting for the grandmother to show up, she works at the theatre, befriends the staff, and learns the theatre’s secret.

Midnight Ballad for Ghost Theater (via Wikipedia)

Since I hadn’t had the slightest idea and expectation —err, it had been a case of random pick-a-boos!— I didn’t know how to respond to it on first viewing. It surprised me all along. A musical ghost film that thankfully is not horror though uneasiness constantly flits around, and overall a dark comedy. It is a bit eerie and jarring in colour that makes everything seem surreal and normal ones singular.

I enjoyed it nonetheless, simply because I rarely find anything like it and I like mysteries and puzzle-solving. I love quirky characters even more. As usually found in Korean films, there is a twist that, once struck, you’d want to poke someone and remark, “hey! that was a cheat!” and review the whole thing in a new light.

I don’t know why, but it made me miss The Addams Family, somehow.

Midnight Ballad for The Ghost Theatre — What keeps us alive?
  • Idea
  • Visual
  • Sound
  • Dialogue
  • Entertainment


Queer and wonderful with a touch of melancholy, and eerily entertaining.