Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung is a series of short fiction stories dipped in demented and strange horror. While I rarely read horror fiction by American authors, I thought it would be fun to try the same genre but written and created by a foreign author instead. I love watching foreign horror movies as I think they can capture more of that “scary” or “horror” element than the Americans are able to when done right. I believe this will be the first time I’ll be reading short stories written by a Korean author so I have no idea what to expect!
The first story The Head got off to a scary and wacky fun start. I didn’t think much of it at first but why did I decide to hold off on going to the bathroom after? This tale reminded me so much of The Ring but instead of the television, we get the toilet instead!
The second story The Embodiment was average but it goes to show you how much pressure women have in regard to pregnancy and their own bodies in general.
The titled cover story Cursed Bunny deals with curses and things can sometimes go unexpectedly wrong. This one was bizarre but the chilling factor was there.
The dream-like state of The Finger I did not care for at all.
Things got right back on track with The Snare. This gruesome and violent fairy tale is your classic take on man’s greed for money and gold.
Goodbye, My Love deals with artificial intelligence but things were very predictable as is the case whenever you deal with this subject matter, especially in a short story.
Scar was one of the longest stories so far but it wasn’t really a good one. There really wasn’t a horror element to it but more of a sad and emotional one instead. So far up to this point, the book along with the short stories were fairly disappointing.
Home Sweet Home deals with the pressure we face with debt along with the goal shared by people all over the world: owning a home. This one had potential in the beginning with the buildup but it came away empty when it ended.
Ruler of the Winds and Sands is what I’d call a fairy tale in a classical sense.
Reunion, the last of the story, is probably my favorite out of the bunch. The horror of loneliness and helplessness along with letting your past dictate and control your present/future is scarier than any ghost story imaginable.
All in all, I was severely disappointed with the short stories collected here. The author clearly wanted to explore the different types of horror themes via the assorted short stories but a lot of them just didn’t do it for me. Could it be due to the translation? In terms of your “traditional” horror, I’d say only The Head, Cursed Bunny, and The Snare would fit into this category. Well, at least these were the ones that were even remotely spooky to me.