I was thrilled to see Jang Na-Ra and Jung Yong-Hwa had been paired in a new Kdrama. If you intended to keep this one on the back burner to watch for Halloween, I suggest you rethink that idea. Some things are just too good to wait for, and Sell Your Haunted House is one of them
If a property owner finds it impossible to sell their haunted building they call Daebak Reality. This agency, which is open from “dusk to dawn,” performs exorcisms to get rid of the ghosts and then sells the newly-cleaned property.
GSC (Ghost Story Cleaners) Institute is a scam company that capitalizes on people’s fears in order to make money. They set things up so it appears like a building is haunted and then charge money to empty the place of the nonexistent spirits.
When exorcist Hong Ji-Ah discovers scam artist Oh In-Bum has special medium powers, she hires him to help send her mother to the afterlife, little realizing the man is tied to her mother’s death from 20 years ago.
The owner of Daebak Reality is Hong Ji-Ah, a young woman who comes from a long line of exorcists dating back to the Joseon Dynasty. Her mother passed away 20 years ago, while performing an exorcism in a desperate attempt to get rid of an egg ghost, and has stayed locked away at Daebak Realty ever since. To perform an exorcism, Ji-Ah imprisons the evil spirit inside a medium. Just before she sends it away, part of the spirit’s memory enters her, which causes her to experience the emotions the person felt at the time of death – such as regret, obsession, remorse, and resentment. She claims the more she does this type of work the more she sees people’s greed, hate, and resentment and it disgusts her. To deal with all the pessimism, she lives her life “just ignoring everything.” With each exorcism she performs, Ji-Ah puts her life on the line so she works out to stay in shape and, as a result, can hold her own in any physical altercation. The woman is ravenous after an exorcism and often scarfs down enough food for several people. Jet black hair, dark clothing, a somber face, and a serious attitude toward life, Ji-Ah is every inch an exorcist. She has tried to send her mother off on many different occasions but nothing has ever worked.
GSC (Ghost Story Cleaners) Institute is run by Oh In-Bum. Claiming he is a professor from Stanford University, he chooses a wealthy target, and then, with the help of his partner in crime, Heo Ji-Chun, things are set up to convince the person their property is haunted. The scheming duo then makes off with a bundle of cash after selling their client worthless equipment that they claim will keep all the ghosts at bay. In-Bum has been an outcast all of his life. His parents passed away in an accident right after he was born and his grandmother always told him it was his fault they died. Sadly, when his uncle, Oh Sung-Sik, passed away a few years later, In-Bum once again was blamed for the death. After he finished high school, he left his grandmother’s house to live on his own and has been independent ever since. In-Bum is a special medium in that he intercepts the vengeful ghost’s memories from going into Ji-Ah, and the slightest touch of his hand reverses the hypothermia she suffers which always comes as a result of an exorcism. He’s surprised to discover that, for a short time after an exorcism, he takes on the personality of the ghost that possessed him. Although In-Bum has the brains of a conman, he has a sympathetic heart.
Hoo Hwa-Jung is the office manager at Daebak Reality and the only person Ji-Ah says she trusts. Hwa-Jung is close to a certain police officer whom she turns to when she needs help.
Heo Ji-Chun is In-Bum’s business partner and best buddy. He is the tech brains of the duo. He has a girlfriend, although they’ve never met in person (just through online/texting stuff.
Do Hak-Sung is the main villain. He is tied up in the death of both Ji-Ah’s mother and In-Bum’s uncle.
Oh Sung-Sik is In-Bum’s uncle. He took care of In-Bum after the little boy’s parents died.
For information about Jang Na-Ra, the actress who plays Hong Ji-Ah, you can go to my Go Back Couple review. Although Hong Ji-Ah isn’t my favorite Jang Na-Ra character, her acting in this drama is some of the best I have ever seen her do. Absolutely magnificent!
By going to my review of The Package you can read about Jung Yong-Hwa, the multi-talented man who plays the part of Oh In-Bum. By the way, Sell Your Haunted House is Yong-Hwa’s first acting job after returning home from his mandatory military service. I had no idea how much I had missed Jung Yong-Hwa until I saw him in this. Although he began his entertainment career in music, the man really is a superb actor.
As the drama’s title suggests, Daebak Reality is no ordinary real estate agency and we get to watch as Hong Ji-Ah performs exorcisms on several different vengeful spirits. In the process, we discover the reasons the people stayed around after death as well as the circumstances that brought the different building owners to Daebak Reality in the first place. And while case after case is being presented, the question of the underlying main plot remains – what really happened the night Ji-Ah’s mother died and why can’t an exorcism be performed that will allow her to pass on?
The show is not “spooky” at all. It seems the writers’ (there are three) intention was to make the spirits the focal point of the show by having them be the ones to tell how and why they died. Instead of a cop discovering all the circumstances surrounding a person’s death, the victims themselves reveal it. In other words, the drama is more of a series of murder mysteries than a horror flick. However, the story does include an egg ghost who happens to be scary. According to the show, an egg ghost is someone who has been possessed by the spirits of many people who died at the same time and place by unscrupulous means (like if someone had planned to sink the Titanic). An egg ghost has no face (my guess is that not having a face represents the fact that more than one spirit is residing in the person) and brings with it death to anyone that sees it. It’s an egg ghost that Ji-Ah’s mother was attempting to exorcise the night she died.
Sell Your Haunted House gives us rules about vengeful ghosts, mediums, and exorcisms that are very interesting. What I thought was a “medium” is not at all what the show portrays them to be. It also tells us that spirits that stick around after their deaths don’t always stay because they want to. Sometimes they just can’t leave for one reason or another and performing an exorcism for them is actually doing them a favor. It also shows that ghosts don’t always choose to possess someone but are forcefully pulled into the medium’s body during an exorcism. I really found the drama to be quite entertaining and informative, even though the information had to do with fictitious/legend kind of things.
The ending is very satisfying and sets things up for a sequel. Oh, yes, please! As long as they cast the same folks, I would love to see another round of this ghost-busting team!
The CGI/special effects in the show are very good. The black smoke swirling around a vengeful ghost looks cool and the fight scenes (not many but a decent amount) are top-notch. I was surprised but probably shouldn’t have been, that Jang Na-Ra could punch a weighted bag so well. She looked like she was very familiar with what she was doing.
I was very impressed with Director Park Jin-Suk’s work on this show. Sell Your Haunted House is only his third drama (School 2017 and Naked Fireman preceding it, along with three drama specials) which surprised me. This couldn’t have been a simple drama to direct – fight scenes, CGI/special effects – and with all that, I only caught one “oops” (the positioning of Jang Na-Ra’s hair in a shot). The camera angles are superb and the staging is excellent. I hope to see this guy’s name in the director’s spot of many more dramas to come.
I’ve often said that I love it when the actors/actresses in a show participate in creating the music for the drama and Sell Your Haunted House’s leading man and woman do exactly that. Yippee! Jung Yong-Hwa (Oh In-Bum), CNBlue’s lead singer, and Jang Na-Ra (Hong Ji-Ah), who began her entertainment career as a solo artist, both appear on the drama’s soundtrack. Jang Na-Ra sings Daydream and Jung Yong-Hwa performs I Got Ya. Both songs are uptempo and quite enjoyable. Too bad they weren’t asked to collaborate on one and do a third song together.
The focal point backdrop of the drama is, of course, Daebak Reality which is just an old home. The realty office and living space are downstairs and Ji-Ah’s bedroom is on the second floor. The thing that stands out the most is all the dark wood inside the building. It has an old look about it which adds to the ghostly charm and the place is located in a more run-down section of the city. I need to mention a gorgeous bamboo forest at the end of the show. It’s absolutely breathtaking and a lovely backdrop for a short, yet heartfelt conversation between exorcist and medium.
The story is engaging, the acting is superb, the directing is precise, and when you put those things together you get one heck of an entertaining drama. Sell Your Haunted House – excellent Kdrama viewing!
Jung Yong-Hwa and Jang Na-Ra’s superb acting
Good main mystery
Set up for a sequel
Interesting ghost cases
Detailed explanation of exorcisms
Good CGI/special effects
Jung Yong-Hwa and Jang Na-Ra each sing on the soundtrack