Directed By: Chul-Soo Jang
Written By: Kwang-Young Choi
Cinematography By: Gi-Tae Kim
Editor: Mi-Joo Kim
Cast: Yeong-Hie Seo, Seong-won ji, Min-ho Hwang, Ji-Eun Lee, Jeong-Hak Park
A woman subject to mental, physical, and sexual abuse on a remote island seeks a way out.
It’s not a typical horror film as it doesn’t follow any of the rules of one except for its violence. This film Ultimately this film ends up becoming a revenge film. Though to sum it up that way is too simple.
It is more of a human horror story rather than a supernatural or killer on the loose tale. Here we know the killer and the motivations.
The film is fresh in original ways through the story feels familiar. Presented in a different way that makes it feel fresh.
As the film starts we are introduced to a character who we believe will be our protagonist and while she stays in the film out attention soon shifts I her friend on the island she is taking a vacation at, which is her hometown from youth.
Once we get on the island we see how old school it is and a different world. Where men are thought supreme and women as lowly. We also are witnesses to how her childhood friend is practically a slave and see the indignities that are forced onto her on a daily basis that she endures only for her daughters’ sake and hope of escape someday.
The film really builds in this middle section as it actively makes you hate all the characters except for her and you can’t wait for something to happen to them badly, it gets routine as the film goes on you will feel your anger rise and a blood lust start to take form. Once a tragedy happens that is when the blood begins to flow in a graphic manner.
What is amazing about the film is that it takes its time for the revenge to come so that when it does you truly feel it is about time as you have waited so long. The revenge also happens relatively quick ad not so well thought out. As the character does become a killing machine, yet not invincible nor cunning and quick. None of this is well thought out by her. Just reacting to circumstances and opportunity.
Now while this is a woman strike back at her captors unlike the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE films this doesn’t feel quite as exploitive and sensationalized. Though there is sexual energy and atmosphere throughout, not in an erotic or act way more rough and lecherous. While there is sex it’s not necessarily gratuitous though graphic it is not shot in an erotic way or fantasy way. It is just rough and painful to watch.
That is what helps make the film is its pace. Taking it’s time to let things build. You grow to hate the characters, not for one single act but the acts they build up and we are only watching for a short time she has had to love with this for years.
Once the tragedy happens an element and act are suggested though never confirmed as the film has shown a character’s true side and has no positive qualities you believe they committed the act as it would seem to be normal behavior for them. Though the covering up is the truly last appalling act.
Now while all this is happening the only part of the film happened that I didn’t believe was that her friend while staying there misses half of the things happening throughout. Now as the film has introduced her to be selfish and bitchy. She seems to stay that way while trying to be compassionate. We also learn of their friendship history. Even as all of this goes on around her and suspecting the horrors she hears about she still chooses to deny and just sit on the sides choosing to be neutral. Which in its own way makes her just as bad or worse than the actual tormentors.
The last act of the film is off the island but putting the island’s legacy and spirits to rest. It’s more action-packed than it sounds. Though the last minutes seem to reach out to try to explain or symbolize that point.
The lead played by is a revelation here she ones from simple to dangerous o advanced and also sexy with little effort.
Now what I really enjoyed about the film is that it was so alive that you believed anything can happen at any point. A few times, I was trying to predict where the film would I as what would happen next and it went another way. My suspicion would have made it more of a typical film and not as advanced as it comes off.
The film’s message seems to have something to say about compassion and personal responsibility as the last scene truly breaks our hearts. As it has been best up throughout the film.
While the film is hard to watch it is captivating as many times watching it at home it was late so I was convinced ” i will watch only 30 minutes, then o.k. let me watch only 15 more minutes before you know it I am halfway through the film and my tired so I figure let me watch the whole thing” and I wasn’t disappointed