Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal (2010) Poster

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Slow-burn hell hath wrath masterpiece
SonOfSalem20 August 2011
Some movies ask of your time like others seldom dare to try. These are the most rewarding, in my opinion, because, having allowed ourselves to be so absorbed and entrenched in their sagas, our empathic connection with their characters can almost make us feel like we are intertwined and we can come away feeling enriched for having shared our time with them. I felt this when I watched "The Pianist" and "The Deer Hunter". And I felt this when I watched "Bedeviled"

The English definitions of the word bedeviled are many, but prone to obvious seething similarity; (to worry, annoy, or frustrate, to torment mercilessly, plague, to possess with or as if with a devil, bewitch) every one of these are but glimpses into what awaits the viewer in "Bedeviled." What I found most disturbing of all for myself, was that I was cheering for the character possessed of them. You'll understand... or you might not. But some people deserve whats coming to them, in this world, or the hell they have dutifully manufactured in the next, no matter how they cloak themselves to appear like they don't stink of the blood they have washed themselves in.

The character Bok-Nam is a terrifying study of a fracturing psyche. And for her tormentors on the island, hell hath no fury like the storm that is raging towards them.

The Korean title of this movie is: Kim Bok-nam Salinsageonui Jeonmal; which translates to: The Whole Story of Kim Bok-nam's Murder Case. Soe Yeong Hie (Bok-nam) won best actress at the Korean movie awards and the movie itself won best screenplay.

-{ A great percentage of the best horror movies are foreign. Don't be afraid of them! }-
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Wherever you go ...
kosmasp15 November 2010
It is difficult to describe the movie. Actually to describe what is attractive and/or exciting about the movie for me. You could say that it begins more than slow, but will build up and be very disturbing toward the end. I'm not gonna give anything away from the story, but if you have seen some Korean movies, you might know what you are getting yourself into here!

It is sort of a character study and a very weird and dark social commentary to (if you want it to be). I liked the group dynamic, I liked the grey tones, I liked that it was different. I can't guarantee though that you will like it. And it might not be the ideal choice to start getting to know Korean cinema. I'm sure though that somewhere along the line, there is an US Remake waiting to happen (if they can pull it off ... they don't seem to be able to do so with Old Boy either).
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Harsh, compelling and effective, if unsubtle savage drama
Bloodwank6 September 2010
As manipulative as a lot of Hollywood fodder, Bedevilled should be a sinker. That it isn't is testament to its beauty, committed performances and a fine feel for harshness, though overlong its powerful and occasionally savage stuff. We follow Hae-won, returning to her childhood home to visit old friend Bok-nam. High strung, frigid and apparently callous Hae Won isn't especially likable, but as things go on we see why she might be this way, for the small island where she grew up is a pretty terrible place. Her reunion may be sweet, but Bok-nam is in a bad situation, and things are building to a head…The plot summary on this page tells more than is strictly needed about the skimpy plot of this one, it's predictable stuff but I still recommend not knowing to much beforehand, all the better to get emotionally wrecked. Director Jang Cheol-so plays the audience like an instrument, highlighting the natural beauty of the location to better emphasise the nastiness, keeping the harsher moments just enough in the frame to be viciously effective but keeping the worst of it just out of view, conjuring jangling tension and a dash of sinister sexual menace, its taut stuff building effectively with tar black humour in its climatic release. Ji Sung-wong puts on a decent if distant show as Hae-won, implacable to the point of being a frustration, while Seo Yeong-hee is the more attractive as Bok-nam, lively façade in desperate conflict with her terrible treatment, a pleasant soul who doesn't want to face things but wrenched to a place where she can't hide. The notion of denial and the need to face up to things is what underlies events, unsubtly presented perhaps but a worthy message presented in jolting style, fortunately the film works as grim drama. There are problems though, none of the villains of the piece are well rounded, from crudely brutal and sex hungry men to cruel old ladies revelling in the status quo, everyone is so hissable that things are in constant danger of being overdone, and indeed sometimes are. Documented cases of similar isolated communities show that there is a bleak truthfulness to the pattern of events, but the characters of the villains generally lack psychological truth, hence they become less effective. The other trouble here is that the film draws out its finale with more climaxes than necessary, it doesn't lack for exciting or interesting events in its final stages but it becomes bumpy and feels overlong, it also hammers home the less subtle aspects of the film. Still, all in all this one had the required effect for me, I was gripped, appalled, dazzled and saddened, a veritable emotional roller-coaster. Worth a look for slow burning dark drama fans then, but be warned that things are a bit obvious.
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Another masterpiece of a unique genre coming from a unique country
kluseba21 June 2011
"Bedevilled" is another and once again brilliant tale of revenge coming from South Korea which is in the vein of already now legendary masterpieces such as "Oldboy" and "I saw the devil".

What distinguishes this movie from the other ones and justifies itself to merit a place in the top notch of this genre can be told in three little points. First of all, this movie tells the tale of revenge from the point of view from a person that is neither the central evil nor the central avenger part of the movie. Thanks to many flashbacks and secondary story lines, the culpability and responsibility of the main actress is though revealed all over the movie and gives us philosophical and introspective insights while the person witnesses a tale of revenge.

Second, the movie takes its time to introduce all the important characters very slowly. This develops a dark empathy with the main victim that is treated and slowly becomes a monster. The movie creates cruel and gripping personalities and shows us the degree of culpability for all of them. The acting in this intense but slow paced movie is very well done and authentic and it's a very positive and refreshing aspect that the true revenge tale only kicks off after more than the half of the movie has already passed.

Third, this movie focuses especially on the relationship between the avenger and the person that introduces slowly us to the main story line. It's the first time I see two equally convincing female characters in this kind of tough, cruel and highly emotive roles in this kind of genre and they have done such excellent jobs that I'm looking forward to have a closer look at their filmographies.

As a fourth very positive point I might finally add that this movie is also intriguing because it takes places on an isolated island and is a huge criticism towards past and contemporary society in South Korea. This movie is much more than just a bloody tale of revenge, at first glimpse it's especially a very intense drama with gripping characters.

In the end, I highly suggest anyone that likes South Korean movies to watch out for this film that has only recently been released in North America. This is another masterpiece of a unique genre coming from a unique country and you won't find this kind of high quality in any cinema or contemporary American blockbuster. South Korea is the best place for original, gripping and extreme contemporary movies and this movie underlines the country's unique status and will hopefully inspire our culture to take some inspirations from them without dishonouring their creative pieces of art.
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Slow but one of the most compelling movies in recent times
amoolya0055 July 2011
First things first.. I really don't know whether the people from the West who aren't that familiar with Asian culture, that too the rural culture would really relate well to this movie. But I think it's one of the most interesting movies I've ever seen, to be frank. I've seen the rural life in India and kinda lived it a bit too and I was kinda really surprised by the similarity that I could find in this movie, be it regarding the gender bias or the illiteracy thing or the domestic violence that illiterate women have to tolerate and just live as if they are born to bear that kind of treatment from sadistic husbands.

As much as I was amazed from the similarity that I could find, I was spellbound by the kind of story telling that this movie was. You would never feel bored although the story goes at a very slow pace, although towards the end it gets to your nerves. The acting by every one of them is appreciable as you never feel that they are really just playing the character in the movie.

I've been watching Korean movies for a while now and have become a big fan of them since, and I certainly think this's one of the best among them. For those who have watched 'Oldboy' or 'I Saw the Devil', you would know what's the kind of gory it would reach. It's truly "Korean", in every way.

If you are a K-movie fan then you would certainly love this one! This one is going into 'My Collection'!
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Island of human brutes.
HumanoidOfFlesh11 February 2011
"Bedevilled" is the tale of two women.Hae-won is depressed by her empty corporate financial job.Close to an emotional break-down she decides to visit her childhood friend Bok-nam who is living on the tiny islet of Mundo.Bok-nam is often abused by her violent husband and his retarded brother.Finally this horribly victimised human being decides to retaliate against her tormentors."Bedevilled" is slow-moving and depressing drama that suddenly turns into bloody revenge movie.The cast is strong,especially Seo Young-hee gives a truly memorable performance as bullied Bok-nam.Consumed by growing anger she becomes a beast.The script is horrific with several scenes of sexual and verbal abuse and plenty of bloody violence.Very brutal pay-off has to be seen to be believed.Check out this savagely beautiful drama.8 islets out of 10.
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Island of (very) slow-brooding vengeance
Coventry25 April 2011
This film, of which the international title "Bedevilled" is a lot easier to remember than the original South Korean one, and its director Cheol- Soo Jang seemingly appeared out of nowhere but nevertheless left quite an impression at several internationally acclaimed film festivals around the world. Perhaps this is simply because the director is an acolyte of Kim Ki-Duk, or perhaps it's because he actually delivered a unique and hard-to-categorize motion picture that spooks through your head long after you finished seeing it. Throughout approximately 75 minutes (three quarters of the full running time), "Bedevilled" is a very slow and harrowing drama focusing on the life of one poor woman. Then suddenly, almost when you totally don't expect it anymore, the film converts into a harsh and downright savage tale of revenge and oppressed anger. The sudden transition is abrupt and shocking, but also strangely justified and efficient. One moment you're witnessing the "Via Dolorosa" of a seemingly timid and vulnerable young woman, yet the next moment this timid and vulnerable young woman is coloring the entire island blood red with a primitive sickle.

The story opens in modern day Seoul, where the egocentric and obnoxious Hae-Won is close to reaching an emotional and professional burnout. She goes on a vacation to Moodo, the island where she spent her childhood holidays with her friend Kim Bok-Nam. Kim Bok-Nam is very happy to see Hae-Won, because she thinks her friend has come to save her and her daughter, like she begged her to in all those letters. Kim Bok-Nam's life is worse than that of a slave. She's abused and humiliated by her husband and the rest of the island's population, both male and female. Another long series of events, including the disinterested reaction of her friend, slowly lead to a gigantic tragedy.

The first three quarters of "Bedevilled" may come across and dull and eventful – especially when shown at 2am on a Saturday morning in a theater full of horror junkies – but the slow pace and melodramatic atmosphere are fundamental for the film. Cheol-Soo Jang carefully takes his time to illustrate that Moodo truly is a very isolated setting, completely devoid of legislation and social evolution. The elderly intimidate the younger and the men dominate the women, probably just like the generations before them did as well. Kim Bok-Nam endured as much anger and agony as humanly possible, and this is painfully illustrated in great detail during the film's long awakening. I've rarely seen a cinematic character who's vengeance is so legitimatized and substantiated. My hat's off to debuting director Cheol-Soo Jang, scriptwriter Kwang-young Choi and lead actress Yeong-Hie Seo. Furthermore, "Bedevilled" benefices from the truly breathtaking island filming locations and staggering photography. Don't know if it's true, but I read somewhere that the location was selected out of nearly 3.000 islands surrounding the South Korean shore. The selection was based on size, nature and available facilities. Great choice, I'd say. Faint- hearted viewers beware, however, as the extended finale features a large number of grim and shocking images.
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underrated, if overdone gender thriller
Radu_A21 May 2011
First of all, don't read anything about the story's content - it may ruin the experience for you.

What do the gender-themed Hollywood thrillers "Basic Instinct", "Fatal Attraction" and "Disclosure" have in common? 1. they all star Michael Douglas, 2. the female lead is the root of all evil. Whenever Hollywood takes gender struggle to bloody extremes, there's an irritating tendency to overly sympathize with the male - probably because the film industry is still pretty much a man's world, with the first female director winning an Academy Award coming around only last year.

In that light, "Bedevilled" - from an equally male-dominated media environment - is a different, surprising film which manages to convey a social message while delivering gruesome - and at times gory - entertainment. What we have here is a social drama/ slasher crossover with excellent production values and top-notch cinematography.

No wonder that the story often feels grossly exaggerated. The entertainment values somewhat linger in the background of an ever-growing tension in the first hour, and then dominate the finale. Therefore the psychological premise - unusually well-established for a mere shocker - appears constructed in the course of the ensuing rampage. Those who expect horror, however, may feel somewhat bored during the exposition, simply because it's so much better and less formulaic than usual for genre movies.

"Bedevilled" is a brilliant piece of entertainment if judged for what it is trying to achieve, pretty much on a par with the testosterone-driven "I saw the Devil". But it's not trying to please as much as the latter. So if you're looking for new angles on old formulas, this one is for you; if you'd rather have a good idea about what you're going to see, you may feel confused.
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Another Great Korean Film
Claudio Carvalho13 May 2016
In Seoul, the thirty and something year-old bank clerk Hae-Won (Seong- won Ji) is a heartless and selfish single woman that tramples on coworkers and clients. He boss orders her to take vacation since she is stressed and Hae-Won decides to spend a week on her grandfather's hometown in the primitive and tiny Moodo Island. She is welcomed by her childhood friend Kim Bok-nam (Yeong-hie Seo) that lives in the island and treats Hae-Won with great affection. Bok-nam is an abused woman that works like a slave, married with the brutal and stupid Man- jong (Jeong-hak Park) and has a little daughter Kim Yeon-hee (Ji-eun Lee). The four Man-jong's aunties and his brother also abuses of Bok- nam and Man-jong's catatonic father also live in Moodo. Bok-nam asks her friend if she could go with her daughter to Seoul with her but Hae-Won refuses the request. Then Bok-nam begs to Hae-Won to take her daughter with her, but she also refuses. Soon Bok-nam finds that her husband is having sex with her daughter and she decides to flee from the island with Yeon-hee. However Man-jong discovers and beats her and her daughter, but Yeon-hee hits her head on a stone and dies. When the police inspector arrives in Moodo, Man-jong and his family lie to him telling that it was an accident and Hae-Won's testimony is not supported by the indifferent Bok-nam that claims that was sleeping. When Man-jong and his brother go to the mainland, Bok-nam has a breakdown and uses a scythe to kill her hateful aunties. What will she do next?

"Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal", a.k.a. Bedevilled, is another great Korean film. The story, screenplay and direction are outstanding and the performances are top-notch. Yeong-hie Seo deserved at least a nomination to the Oscar with her impressive performance. The inhuman and sadistic treatment of Kim Bok-nam is one of the cruelest ever seen in a film and Hae-Won is a bitch. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not available on Blu-Ray or DVD.
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Very well made Korean thriller/horror with elements of revenge
KineticSeoul22 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The story starts out with a city girl from Seoul and is rotten to the core and self-centered, in fact a lot of the characters in this movie is like this some more than others. But the main protagonist is a village girl who doesn't know much about modern times and was stuck on a island far from the city areas of Korea called called Moo-do. Anyways the main city girl in this is probably the most irritating character to watch in this film especially when the movie comes close to the end, she actually portrays how rotten humanity can be. In fact I wouldn't be shocked if it's the majority of people in real life. I personally like these types of movies kinda like "Moss" where it takes place in a desolated place and there is a mystery behind it. This film has some graphic scenes some even really messed and to that I am not talking about the violence. The villains in this island is basically rednecks of Korea and I really hated them all with a passion. Seeing the village girl who has lived on the miserable island for 30 yrs being mistreated and abused emotionally, mentally and physically while being treated as a slave, fueled the anger level even more. And was rooting for her to get her revenge. Especially when it came to that one guy who is uber messed up in the head. The grannies, old people are known to be uptight but most audiences like me will hate them with a passion. Actually almost the whole village. This really is a compelling story that isn't just all about the violence and the climaxes are well done in this. The main negative aspect is how this movie goes in a pretty predictable direction, especially if you seen the trailer. Although it has a few twist than and there. This is a horror/thriller that is interwoven very well when it comes to the end and is worth the time to see it.

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