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Loner (2008)
"Woetoli" (original title)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 288 users  
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A student becomes a recluse in response to her best friend's suicide and locks herself in her room. She believes that someone is in the room with her. Her alarmed family hires a psychologist to intervene.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Min-seo Chae ...
Eun-mi Choi
Yeong-suk Jeong ...
Jeong Se-jin
Yu-seok Jeong ...
Uncle
Eun-ah Ko ...
Jeong Soo-na
Da-in Lee ...
Ha-jeong
Hye-won Seo ...
Nurse
Min-jeong Song
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Storyline

Ha-Jung and Soon-na are best friends & students at the same school. However, while Soon-na has a happy and outgoing personality, Ha-Jung is often the target of extreme cruelty at the hands of bullies. After her best friend's strange suicide, the formerly bright and outgoing Soon-na locks herself in her room and becomes a recluse. She refuses to open the door to anyone and acts as if someone is in the room with her. Her personality degrades to the point where her uncle turns to his fiancee, a psychiatrist who specializes in hikikomori, for help. Hikikomori is a term to describe those who shut themselves off from society in reaction to trauma, usually by confining themselves to a room and avoiding human contact. The outcome is terrifying as supernatural occurrences collide with dark family secrets. Written by Ravensgroove (M Valle)

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18 September 2008 (South Korea)  »

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Loner  »

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User Reviews

 
Below average horror mystery which is much less clever than it thinks it is
15 March 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Lively and outgoing high school student Su-na becomes a recluse after the sudden suicide of her best friend. Deep in despair, Su-na then discovers a shocking secret about her family which triggers a series of terrifying events that will change her life forever.

With a premise based on an important and often unspoken about social phenomena (hikikomori), 'Loner' had the potential to be an interesting horror mystery and/or provide some meaningful commentary on the effects of this sometimes tragic disorder. Unfortunately, it simply tries too hard to be clever and makes very little use of the potential story-telling aspects of hikikomori.

The main problem with 'Loner' is the multiple story strands and red herrings which are introduced and emphasised at various points during the film. Whilst this isn't a new phenomena in modern Korean horror, it is handled very clumsily here and causes the narrative to jar throughout. In addition, several overly melodramatic performances take the sting out of any impact the screenplay may have had.

Technically, the film looks and sounds fine but there is nothing here we haven't seen before. The horror set pieces are neither particularly special or memorable either.

If you're a K-Horror fan this is one you can safely pass on. If you are looking to get into the genre there are much better places to start (eg 'A Tale of Two Sisters', 'Memento Mori', 'Possessed', 'The Red Shoes', 'Someone Behind You', 'Epitaph').


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