Under the Black Moonlight was yet another Korean drama I found on Netflix. The preview of the show really drew me into the story. When I finally decided to watch it, I was more than surprised to find it was only two episodes and the episodes were only 43 minutes long.
Under the Black Moonlight is about a college art student named Wolha. She is approached by the school loner, Seonggyun. What a lot of people don’t realize is that he can ‘smell’ death. When Seonggyun was younger, he would go with his father to help tend to the garden at a country side villa. This is where he learned the smell of death. Although it isn’t death itself he smells, but the smell of the wildflowers that are often found at cemeteries. When Seonggyun approaches Wolha, he gives her a warning; break up with her boyfriend, Kangwoo, or else. If she doesn’t break up with Kangwoo, she will die. Wolha doesn’t take heed to the warning given to her and continues to see her boyfriend. Eventually, Kangwoo decides to propose to Wolha, as they can not live without each other. On the day he is going to propose, Seonggyun enters the art room and announces that Wolha had gotten into an accident. He had recieved a text message from her mother with the funeral arrangements.
A year after the funeral, a new art student, Juhye Jin, transfers to the school. Kangwoo and Wolha’s friends are shocked to find the transfer student is Wolha’s doppelganger. She ends up joining the art club making it difficult for Kangwoo to function during school. After a while, Kangwoo and Juhye start to become closer. Then the art trip comes around and the group takes a trip to Kangwoo’s family villa, after their original plan fell through. At the villa, strange things begin to happen. The members of the club begin to see Wolha around the grounds. This sets them on edge and they start to go crazy after seeing her ghost. As the events unfold, the truth about Wolha’s death is uncovered.
There are a lot of things I don’t really like about Under the Black Moonlight. Although I feel like a lot of them are nit picking, they are things that really annoyed me. First off, the fact that there are only two episodes is rather obnoxious. Why not just turn it into a movie? It would still have the same run time. The breaking point in the episodes isn’t really that great either. The episodes run 43 minutes each. That makes it a perfect candidate to be a movie. The second thing to note is that the story can get rather confusing in places. It jumps between past and present so frequently, it becomes difficult to follow after awhile.
Not only that but some of the things that happen are so unrealistic. For example, at the villa one of the characters die, but they die from getting tangled in some curtains and slipping and hanging. It is very unlikely the way it happens, it would actually kill someone. Now that is only one example, but I don’t want to give away too many details.
However, my biggest problem with Under the Black Moonlight is the ending. I don’t want to spoil the ending, so I won’t go into too much detail, but it is so confusing. There is absolutely no explanation for what happens at the very end of the movie. It shows two people walking out of house, then flashes to the couple with absolutely no context clues. After watching it twice, I am still wondering what the heck happened at the end.
Although there were a lot of things I didn’t like about Under the Black Moonlight, it did have a few redeeming qualities. For example, the artwork and visuals were very well done. At one point, blood runs down a drawing of a girl, and the visual effect it creates is just really well done. There is also the visuals of the busts with blindfolds. There were so many subtle visuals that I found very appeasing.
The next thing I want to mention is the concept of Under the Black Moonlight. The concept of a boy who can smell death warning a girl about her fate, that is what drew me into Under the Black Moonlight in the first place. I found it very interesting in every way. In fact, I enjoyed pretty much the entire show, until the end.
Finally, I want to mention the surprise twist. I absolutely love when a show is not predictable.I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this way. However, with Korean dramas, I have found I am pretty accurate at guess how a show will progress as well as end. Under the Black Moonlight, I could not predict any of the story. I think the only thing I guessed right was the fact Wolha would refuse to leave Kangwoo.
Sorry, this review is so short. However, I don’t like having spoilers in my review, and Under the Black Moonlight makes it pretty much impossible to talk about it yet not spoil anything. I did my best. Overall, I have to say Under the Black Moonlight was great for the most part. I was interested through the entire show….until the very end. The ending was so confusing and hard to wrap my head around. It was completely ruined by that ending. Anyone knows, an ending can make or break a film and in this circumstance, it was completely broken. So in the end, I don’t recommend watching Under the Black Moonlight, unless you want to get a headache from trying to figure out the ending. I’m only giving this one two stars because the rest of this drama is actually really good. There are a ton of other fantastic dramas on Netflix to watch, so don’t feel bad skipping out on this one.
I was hoping to find the explanation to the ending here. Anyways, nice review.