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H (2002)

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A serial killer named Shin-Hyun gives himself up to police. He confesses to committing a series of particularly horrifying murders of exclusively female victims. He is imprisoned, awaiting ... See full summary »

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Title: H (2002)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Detective Kim Mi Yun
Jin-hee Ji ...
Detective Kang Tae Hyun
Ji-ru Sung ...
Detective Park
...
Shin Hyun
Woong-ki Min ...
Choi Young Jin
Yong-soo Park ...
Chief Jang
Hyuk Poong Kwon ...
Captain Lee
Eol Lee ...
Detective Han Jung-Woo
In-kwon Kim ...
Huh Young-Taek
Kil-soo Park ...
Bae Yong-Man
Sun-kyung Kim ...
Dr. Chu Kyung-sook
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bu-seon Kim
Roe-ha Kim
Seon-mi Yeon
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Storyline

A serial killer named Shin-Hyun gives himself up to police. He confesses to committing a series of particularly horrifying murders of exclusively female victims. He is imprisoned, awaiting the death sentence for his crimes. Yet the killings do not stop. They continue with all the same characteristics trademarks of the Shin-Hyun serial killings. The case is re-opened when two more bodies are discovered, both pregnant women. One is found in the city's landfill site, and the other is horrifically murdered on a public bus. Detective Mi Yun (played by Yum Jung-Ah), and her newly appointed partner, Detective Kang (played by Ji Jin-Hee), are assigned to the case. Mi Yun and Kang have difficulty working with each other, as their personalities and working methods are constantly in conflict. Detective Kang goes about his new job buoyantly and enthusiastically. He follows a new suspect, Huh, and eventually catches him in the act of brutally murdering a woman in a crowded techno bar. Huh is taken... Written by Peter Gray <dp@petergray.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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An Intelligent Thriller


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 December 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

H  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Korea, "going to the beach" is synonymous with committing suicide. See more »

Goofs

When Detective Kim finds the severed finger, the actor didn't hold the pose long enough, so the frame is noticeably frozen to lengthen the shot. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Twists for Twistiness' Sake
9 June 2008 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

On the whole, I enjoyed this film. It starts out with a series of nice, gruesome post-mortem and death scenes, and carries the creepy ambiance most of the way through. Unfortunately, as the twists begin to unravel, so does the quality of the film.

For the sake of those who haven't seen the film, I won't spoil any of the myriad twists, but I will say that you better pay very close attention to this film or you'll miss some illuminating plot points, as I did.

Unfortunately, this has to do with the number of suspects/characters in the film, and the difficulty an American viewer will have keeping all the names separate. Characters are often referred to by name without being on screen (as is the nature of a police thriller), and I found myself, more often than not, seeing said names and thinking, "wait, which one is he?" Still, I doubt I'd have had the problem if the characters in question were more than just your standard serial murder movie cutouts. I watch a lot of Korean cinema, and this is the first time I've ever had this problem.

This speaks to the general quality of the film which, while engaging, is certainly not going to stun most viewers with its artistry. The acting is passable (at best), the writing is sparse and convoluted (though not devoid of entertainment value, to be sure), and the editing is flat-out terrible. That's not something that usually stands out for me in a film, but in this case it was a flagrant issue with the film. You'll find yourselves following the characters to a raid on a suspect's house only to forget why this guy was a suspect in the first place, and random cuts to side characters doing sweet F.A. don't do much to ease the difficulty of following the bouncing (murder)ball.

There are two kinds of "end of the movie twists" out there. There's the "Oh my god, I didn't see that coming, but I should've" twists, and then there are the "uh...what?" twists. Sadly, the final revelation of this film is one of the latter. I've seen debate on the message boards regarding the supposed "final, final twist," but I have to say that it's a pretty loose interpretation to call the final moments of the film yet another twist. It's more of a "book-end," and effective as such.

Where this film fails most is in the expectations it builds. It's an excellent concept for a serial murderer flick, and they spend a lot of time building an interesting emotional landscape that's inevitably forsaken for gimmicky plot devices that, while not wholly unbelievable (though highly improbable), are pretty much just plain silly. Had they stuck with the emotional and psychological themes and forsaken the twists, this would be an excellent film.

As it stands, it is not excellent, but it's certainly not terrible. If you're a fan of Asian thrillers, you could do worse than this one.

-J


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