"The School Nurse Files": Goofy but Fun

I just binge-watched Netflix’s “The School Nurse Files.” The South Korean horror/comedy series revolves around a nurse at a high school who battles against negative energies that are preying on the students. 

Spoiler alert: the school was built over an old pond in which many people committed suicide. The energies seeping out of the pond sometimes look like jelly, or take on creature- and plant-like forms. The nurse is the only one who can see the energies. She destroys them with the help of a toy sword and a BB gun that shoots green, plastic BBs.
Photo: Netflix.com

Based on the trailer, I expected the series to be juvenile and silly. It turned out to be surprisingly watchable, with quality production and special effects. It had the campy feel of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with manga overtones.

The first episode ended in a cliffhanger where students are about to be sucked down the throat of a gigantic, mutant toad. Of course I had to keep watching after that. The actors were good and the characters (especially the nurse and her cadre of helpers) were likable. One especially memorable character was the eternally youthful, but ultimately tragic, mite eater. The series had some romance, but not too much to be intrusive. One episode in which the nurse was trying to tie intricate knots in the shape of dragonflies was hilarious.

In terms of creep factor, I wasn’t especially scared. Most of the creatures were more cute than horrific.  There is no gore, but lots of surreal quirks, including a group of ducks wandering around the school that nobody seems to notice. Were the ducks there because of the one-time pond? Were they even real? It wasn’t clear.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t very satisfied with the ending, which I found too abrupt. I don’t think it tied all the loose ends.

But all in all, a fun caper at only six episodes (about 50 minutes each). I’ll watch a second season if Netflix makes it.


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