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Haunters (2010)
"Cho-neung-ryeok-ja" (original title)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 921 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 27 critic

Cho-In can control other people's minds when they are within his field of sight.Except one man.

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Title: Haunters (2010)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Dong-won Kang ...
Cho-in
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Duek-mun Choi ...
Abby
Jeong Eun-Chae ...
Yeong-sook
...
Im Gyoo-nam
Enes Kaya ...
Ali
Yang Kyeong-mo ...
Young Cho-in
Da-kyeong Yoon ...
Hyo-sook
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Storyline

After losing his job at a scrap metal yard, Kyu-Nam finds a new job at a small pawn shop named Utopia. He is immediately drawn to the family atmosphere at Utopia, working with his new boss Jung-Sik and boss's daughter Young-Sook. Unfortunately for Kyu-Nam, his moment of happiness will only be fleeting. Cho-In lived through a brutal childhood. He has had to use a prosthetic leg since an early age, grew up with an abusive father and lived with a mother who at one point attempted to kill her own son out of despair. Cho-In also possesses an awe-inspiring supernatural gift. Cho-In can control other people's minds when they are within his field of sight. One fateful day, Cho-In walks into the Utopia pawn shop to steal whatever money exists in the safe. Not expecting much resistance, Cho-In is surprised to find one man at the Utopia pawn shop is able to break free from his mind control abilities. That man is Kyu-Nam. Cho-In then resorts to killing the owner of pawn shop to make his escape. ... Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

paranormal | psychic | See All (2) »


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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 2010 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Haunters  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the junkyard scene where the workers are eating, the scene is set up like Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting. There are a total of thirteen workers sitting in one row, and the man in the middle who did not pay for his lunch ticket is "Jesus Christ". See more »

Connections

Spoofs Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

A different kind of superhero movie- but a riveting watch nonetheless
5 September 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Superheroes don't always need to come in the form of Marvel or DC Comics characters; rather, they can just be everyday individuals with special powers living regular lives. Perhaps one of the best films to expound on this was M.Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable", a story of two individuals coming to terms with who and what they are, as well as their place in the world relative to each other.

Kim Min-suk's feature debut owes more to Shyamalan's "Unbreakable" than it does to the superhero Marvel or DC Comics blockbusters. It grounds its two characters- one the hero, and the other the villain- in commonplace circumstances, and thereby injecting a healthy dose of realism into the movie. On one end is Kyu Nam (Ko Soo), a former scrapyard worker turned pawnshop manager; and on the other, Cho (Kang Dong Won), a disturbed young man with a troubled childhood and innate mind control abilities.

The alternative English title for this movie is "Psychic" and it is Cho that this title is referring to. In the film's opening scene, a young Cho is seen blindfolded while his father berates his mother for letting their child live- until the blindfold slips and his father kills himself by snapping his own neck backwards. His mother tries to kill him upon witnessing his terrifying powers, but fails. Twenty years later, Cho gets by through robbing pawnshops while making everyone else around 'freeze' as if time had stopped.

Kyu Nam however turns out to be immune to Cho's psychic abilities, and when he tries to stop Cho from robbing his boss' pawnshop, Cho responds by killing his boss in a particularly gruesome manner. Just like that, Min-suk sets up the feud between Kyu Nam and Cho at the centre of the movie. It is their conflict that drives the rest of the narrative, as both of them are pushed to understand their place opposite each other.

Through Kyu Nam, Cho discovers a newfound fallibility to his apparent invincibility; while through Cho, Kyu Nam discovers a greater sense of purpose as the counterbalance to Cho's heinous ways. The showdowns between the two are inevitable, and Min-suk stages a few thrilling exchanges- in particular, one of them that takes place in a crowded subway station is especially gripping to watch.

Cho's blatant disregard for human life however may be disturbing to some, especially since some of his victims tend to meet their deadly fates a little too casually for comfort. The only levity the film provides is in the form of Kyu Nam's buddies- one from Ghana, and the other from Turkey, both of whom can speak perfect Korean. Their banter with the simple Kyu Nam provides some much-needed comic relief in a movie that can turn deadly serious very quickly.

Both Ko Soo and Kang Dong Won turn in compelling performances, even though one may naturally prefer Ko Soo's more empathetic one. He makes his character's apprehension felt keenly, especially when Min-suk clearly sets him up as being mismatched against Cho's superpowers. On the other hand, Dong Won cuts a chilling presence as the villain, giving his character an intensity that you can't quite help but be enraptured by.

Those expecting some form of answers as to the origin of Cho's abilities, or Kyu Nam's, should however be prepared to be disappointed. Min-suk offers none, preferring that his audience accept it as part of the nature of mankind and the inherent differences between individuals. This is only Min-suk's second movie, the first as a co-writer on Kim Jee-woon's kimchi western, The Good the Bad the Weird, and it proves his strengths as a helmer. Gripping and never for one second less than interesting, "Haunters" is one unique Korean movie you shouldn't miss.

  • www.moviexclusive.com



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