As mentioned on this site before, what was once a unique scare tactic in Korean and Japanese horror films, has become common place and over done in the form of the Onryo or vengeful ghost. Cinderella is another twist on the story, and even though it has all too familiar elements that have become fairly stale and worn, its still a fine effort.
The film focuses on a mother who is a plastic surgeon, slicing and dicing the faces of her teenage daughter's friends who are incredibly obessessed with their looks. The mother placates the ego of the daughter in an over the top (and also fairly creepy) way, giving her massages and facials, all the while reassuring her that she is far prettier than all of her friends.
The friends who get an Extreme Makeover all see things while on the cutting table and when they wake up after surgery, they are consumed by strange visions and inclinations to start carving up their newly designed faces.
As the teenage girl's friends start killing themselves off, she learns that she was in fact her mom's very first patient and the ghost who is tormenting her friends and has come back for her was that of a another girl whom her mother claimed as her daughter. You see, the teenage girl doesn't have the actual face she was born with. She was horribly disfigured in a fire and while she layed comatose in a hospital, the mother befriended a lost little girl and took her in as her own. In her obssession with her real daughter, she performed a face transplant. After the surgery, the lost little girl was confined to the mother's basement and she 'pretended' to raise her as one of her own. When the girl grew tired of her imprisonment, she committed suicide and came back as the familiar ghost, seeking revenge.
Employing a lot of the all too familiar elements of Asian horror with just a fair amount of originality, Cinderella is definitely a decent affair. Even though the long dark haired, scary looking Asian girl concept has seemingly been taken to its limits, the film still entertains. And there is one particularly gnarly seen in which the teen's friends carve each other up with their art school scalpels. Bonzai!
Cortez the Killer