A serial killer targeting elementary school students is on the loose. When the most probable suspect dies and the case looks like it's reached a dead end, police brass decide to create a ... See full summary »
The story takes place in occupied Korea at the start of the 20th century, where a young student in medicine discovers the murdered body of the son of a government official. Being scared of ... See full summary »
A woman gets killed in a department store. No one imagines this could lead to serial murders, but two days after the first murder, another homicide occurs. A woman is suffocated to death ... See full summary »
Due to inadequate use of anesthetics, a young boy experiences "intra-operative awareness" during his own heart surgery, hearing every sound and movement of the procedure. The little boy is ... See full summary »
Off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, an island of 17 inhabitants exists. The so-called Paradise Island holds up to its name with its breath-taking mountains and sea coupled with ... See full summary »
A salt storehouse near the sea may be haunted. A penniless ex-con dies a gristly death in a house he can ill afford. The detectives assigned the case are Min, newly reinstated after a ... See full summary »
One day, Hye Lin, the five-year old daughter of a devoted pastor, Joo Young Soo, is kidnapped. Pastor Joo, who has a rock solid faith in God at this time, prays wholeheartedly for her safe ... See full summary »
ROOMMATES is the third part of a 4 horror movie series, FOUR HORROR TALES. Roommates Yoo-jin, Eun-soo, Bo-ram, and Da-young are cramming for a college entrance exam. It's difficult for them... See full summary »
Se-jin, a young woman who lives in an old apartment in a Seoul suburb, amuses herself by observing the windows of the apartments on the other side. One day, she notices that the lights of ... See full summary »
Juno, formerly a bank employee, gets a call on his first day at work from a woman seeking advice. She asks if insurance is paid out on suicides, and only after hanging up does he see the warning on the insurance agreement. A few days Juno receives a request for a meeting with an unknown policy holder. From the living room of a decrepit house Juno opens the door to the bedroom to see a seven-year-old hanging from the ceiling. Police start an investigation, but the autopsy and all the evidence points to suicide. But Juno can't shake his suspicions that the incident was actually a murder. Believing that insurance, which should protect lives, cannot be seen to promote murder, he withholds payment. There is evidence of other serial murders, and a secret lying inside company records in storage. Where is the truth? And what is the true nature of the Black House? Written by
An insurance agent, still fresh on the job, gets called to a home where he witnesses an apparent suicide. After the initial shock, though, he begins to suspect murder and sets his sights on investigating the boy's father. As the investigation continues, so does the creepy nature of the father. How far will both men go to achieve their ends, and what other secrets is this family hiding?
I'm relatively new to the Korean horror scene, but have liked much of what has come my way. "Black House" is no exception. While it isn't a perfect film, it certainly kept my interest, even during the hours where I would typically be asleep. The flaws are forgivable -- it carries on a bit longer than necessary, expects us to believe a killer capable of some extraordinary feats (considering the killer isn't in peak physical condition). But what horror film doesn't have us believe the unbelievable?
The lead characters/actors were great. Jeon Juno (Jeong-min Hwang) was a decent lead as a courageous everyman, and Park Chung-bae (Shin-il Kang) was a formidable opponent. He played up the "less is more" approach perfectly, allowing his stares to send chills. Park's wife (Seon Yu) was both beautiful and evil at the same time. The secondary characters were alright, too... though I wasn't overly impressed by Jeon's girlfriend Mina (Seo-hyeong Kim).
The visuals were well done. There was a darkness, but at the same time a crisp feel to the film, showing a sizable production. Many foreign films tend to have a lower budget feel, but this was not one of those. The blood and gore were superb, and I even felt they tended to mix violence and sexuality in a way that is sensually magnificent (particularly towards the end). Not least was the soundtrack, with very simple but effective piano melodies (presumably by Seung-hyun Choi). In some scenes they came off as repetitive, but there was one sad tune that was haunting and pulled me emotionally into the picture against my will.
I have no complaints with the writing, directing, acting, cinematography. This film came together nicely and was effective. All too often, Asian (particularly Japanese) films fall back on the "dream" and "ghost" subgenres of horror. This one stayed far away, giving us a mystery-thriller that was right up the alley of Italian giallo (though more horror than mystery). If you're looking for a good foreign flick, this one's worth a shot... see it before someone tries to remake it (again, since this is in itself a remake).
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?