The Quiet Family

The Quiet Family (Choyonghan kajok) (2000)

The Quiet Family (Choyonghan kajok) first published by Movie Gazette Together with her parents (Park In-hwan, Na Moon-hee), her older brother and sister (Song Kang-ho, Lee Yun-seong) and her uncle (Choi Min-sik), seventeen-year old Kang Mi-na (Ko Ho-kyung) moves from downtown Seoul to a mountainous country region to open the ‘Misty Lodge’ – but their…

JSA

JSA – Joint Security Area (2000)

JSA – Joint Security Area first published by Little White Lies, as entry 119 in my Cinema Pyschotronicum column It is the wee hours of 28 October, at the scene of a multiple murder. Jeong Woo-jin (Shin Ha-kyun, Lady Vengeance) and another man, Choi, are dead, and Oh Kyung-pil (Song Kang-ho, Memories of Murder, Parasite)…

Parasite

Parasite (Gisaengchoong) (2019)

Parasite (Gisaengchoong) first published by VODzilla.co Parasite (Gisaengchoong) opens with a street-level view, partially obstructed by socks hanging from the ceiling, through the upper window of a semi-basement apartment, before the camera tilts down to twenty-something Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) inside, trying to get reception on his mobile phone. From the moment that Ki-woo declares,…

Vengeance

Lady Vengeance (Chinjeolhan geumjassi) (2005)

Lady Vengeance (Chinjeolhan geumjassi) first published by EyeforFilm Vengeance always begets more vengeance. Park Chan-wook never intended that the bleak social commentary of Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (2002) and the Oedipal extravagance of OldBoy (2003) should be conceived as related projects, but after Korean journalists hounded him over his new-found obsession with violent revenge, he…

Memories

Memories of Murder (2003)

Memories of Murder first published by Movie Gazette Between the years 1986 and 1991, in a small rural town in South Korea, ten women were raped and murdered. The perpetrator was never found [until Lee Choon-jae, already serving a life sentence for another murder, confessed to the Hwaesong serial killings in 2019], but the huge police…

Host

The Host (Gwoemul) (2006)

The Host (Gwoemul) first published by EyeforFilm If Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (2003) was the last serial killer movie in which the detectives were all bumbling farmboys and the crimes were left unsolved, it was probably the first, too. For it is Bong’s special talent to distort both genre and reality by forcing them into unlikely partnerships –…