Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
At South Korea's border with the North, troops guard the coast. Each bullies those ranking beneath him; tensions are high. PFC Kang and his friend Private Kim are on patrol when drinking ... See full summary »
Violent thug Crocodile lives under a bridge by the Han River in Seoul together with a peddling boy and a homeless old man. Crocodile saves a beautiful young woman Hyun-Jung from suicide by ... See full summary »
Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea ... See full summary »
Two Korean ex-pats meet in Paris by chance encounter. One a petty thief and wannabe artist/painter (Chong-Hae), the other a tough guy (Hong San). Hong San saves Chong-Hae from a gang of ... See full summary »
Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to Hyun-Shik, who is on the run for the police and rescues him with a fish hook, when he tries to commit suicide. Written by
Moritz Muehlenhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Now this is a great example of horror. Not your slasher, undead walking, predictable spoon fed story. Instead, the Isle's simple setting proves that looks can be deceiving as calm waters and clear blue skies belie the murky depths and secrets hidden within.
I never realized the symbolism in this movie: fishing, bait, the simple action of simply tossing back an unwanted catch back in the water. Scenes most striking and prominent contained little or even no dialogue. The soundtrack is subtle, yet highly effective in establishing mood. Then again, anyone who has gone fishing can appreciate the tranquil, and peaceful state which can be very rewarding. How about human relationships? How about the bad times or deep hurts so traumatizing which cannot be shared with anyone. Do we walk burdened carrying deep pains like say a wounded scaled fish? Although it may be wounded, it still goes on swimming in its daily routine. Our two main characters throughout the film really catch you offguard. Let's just say "misery loves company". This horror is more psychological and more tangible than what you would usually see on screen.
I was impressed by Jung Suh who really displays the strength of Hee-Jin, and at the same time shows a frail, tragic side. Her routine actions like steering the boat, tending to the renters' are done so convincingly that you feel like you're at the lake watching true events unfold. Credit also Ki-Duk Kim for directing this without making it into a sappy love story and not going overboard or too artsy. Be warned: the Isle is laced with dark humor and will have you thinking about it after it is done. I really appreciate films that are able to do that.
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