Hey, just here to say keep up the good work. I sent your anti-ks post to a friend of mine who was curious about it. Could you elaborate about what you meant about it being bad in a narrative sense as well? (You'd mentioned it in the tags, but I don't think a lot of people talk about how bad it is from that perspective.)
Thank you so much! I’m really honored you sent a post of mine, it means a lot to me :D.
I can! Outside of the obvious moral issues with the story, I have problems with the narrative and the writing itself. Because media is subjective, I’m not trying to lord my opinions over others or claim a “my way is the only way” stance, but here’s my two cents.
I feel that Killing Stalking fails as a horror, and especially a psychological horror. There’s a few reasons for this:
☼ Yoonbum is a Bad Protagonist™: In psychological horror, my perspective is that the point of the main character is to put yourself in their shoes. Let’s take Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, for example. There are two defined characters, Iris and Norman. The viewer relates to Iris, because she seems more likable and “normal.” When she dies, the viewers often switch to Norman, and when he’s revealed to be the killer, it leaves a sense of discomfort and fear in the viewer of themself, in a sense. That’s good psychological horror.
With Killing Stalking, I feel that Koogi goes out of her way to make Yoonbum not relatable. I’ve listed a few reasons for this, but I’ll summarize here: Koogi knows a relationship between a “normal” person and Sang///woo would not sit well with anyone. So she switches it around, via ableism, etc. to make it that Yoonbum isn’t so “pure” that the viewer automatically feels disgust at their relationship. This kills the psychological horror aspect, because when viewers are unable to relate to any character, it cheapens the horror because it’s much harder to get into a person’s mind if they can’t have a way to feel the story through the characters. Compounded with the homophobia and ableism in the story, it makes it so that there’s no easy outlet to experience the dread.
☼ The Media Relies on Gore for Horror: Because the psychological horror is so cheap as a result of Koogi’s poor writing, I feel she relies more on gore to fulfill the “horror” in the story. Though the story is very fucked up, because the protagonist isn’t relatable, she has to rely on grossing the reader out with graphic drawings, etc. When you combine this with the disgusting focus on the sexual aspect of Yoonbum and Sang///woo’s relationship, which is still abusive by the way, and her gross sexualization of Sang///woo in general, it feels obvious to me it’s not so much about horror as it is about fetishizing abuse and MLM.
☼ Sangwoo is Both Disgusting and Cliche: Sang///woo, however fucked up and irredeemable he is, isn’t especially interesting. “Charming characters who are actually monsters” are a dime a dozen. And Sang///woo doesn’t really have any aspects to make him stand out outside of his flagrant homophobia, which doesn’t make a character anything but bigoted. He doesn’t have anything to grab the reader’s attention, and as a result, it, again, degrades the psychological horror aspect due to how common the character type is, at least in my opinion. Additionally, his “charm” seems to be based primarily off of his appearance, which a charismatic character does not make. All of his “scary” qualities are based in gore or are just informed, and outside of the abuse apologism and bigotry in his character, he doesn’t stand out to me.
☼ It’s Repetitive and Generic as a Plot: The concept of being locked up or trapped isn’t a new one. The “horror” plot is bland. it’s generic. It’s been seen a million times. Think Saw. Think The Room, however bad that movie was. It’s not special, and the thing that makes Killing Stalking stand out is, again, the fetishization and abuse apologism, which makes me think that Koogi isn’t focused so much on writing good horror as jacking off to MLM abuse.
☼ The Drama is Cheap: I know I’ve said it a ton. “The horror is cheap.” But this isn’t about that. It’s about the drama between the characters. Having Yoonbum “go crazy” is just, well, ableism wrapped up in “oh look Yoonbum lost it.” Having characters become violent is, well, common enough to become a tiring trope in horror media. And all this drama in the “relationship” between Sang///woo and Yoonbum is bland outside of the abuse. There’s no draw to it except that Yoonbum is being tortured.
Though, as I said, this is a personal opinion, I hope this cleared up some of why I think KS fails both morally and as a story.