Episode 8 of Goedam expands out beyond its Korean urban legends to include some pretty dangerous ritualistic magic in the form of Yeommae. This essentially proves to be an origin story of sorts, attempting to bridge the gap between the different episodes. Unfortunately the execution is lacking.
The story itself begins with a white robed woman walking downstairs and dropping a bowl full of food through a small slot. Hungry arms grab the bowl and scurry away.
Out of all the episodes, this is the one that actually bothers to add some exposition. As we soon learn, there is a grotesque hex called Yeommae in the country. Shamans abduct children and starve them until they’re nearly dead. They then capture their spirits and keep their soul.
After praying, this woman heads downstairs and captures the young child, stabbing repeatedly until he or she is dead. Convulsing on the spot, the woman suddenly switches her eye around to reveal a much smaller pupil. Could this mean she’s been possessed by the spirit?
Outside, she buries a box holding severed feet and laughs maniacally up at the sky. Back inside, she reads the fortune of a middle-aged woman and tells her she should get divorced from her husband.
Struggling to keep her composure – and presumably her form – this woman continues to read fortunes as the entire room starts to shake around her. This lonely Mother begs for help in finding her daughter as the candles go out in the room. This child’s spirit is strong and seems to possess the woman. Inside her eye, the pupil paves way to show a child banging both fists against the cornea, begging to be released.
That evening, the woman awakens and is unable to control herself, twisting and contorting while this soul struggles to break free from her. Eventually, a tiny hand bursts out her stomach as she collapses on the ground. From within, this child appears to be born.
Outside, a woman hangs from a tree while the camera pans across to the spot where the severed feet were buried.
The Episode Review
In a way, this episode feels like an origin story of sorts. With that in mind, it’s questionable then why this wasn’t the first episode of the anthology. This may have helped add some clarity to the other episodes and tied everything together more consistently.
Despite that though, the episode itself doesn’t explain very much with no name drops and a simple possession story playing out. While there’s plenty of symbolism – eyes again of course – there isn’t an awful lot of substance to this either. Instead, the episode bows out on a pretty average note.
On the whole though, Goedam has been okay but definitely could have benefited from a few stylistic changes. Despite all that, this is an easy enough watch although its unlikely to be an anthology to remember.