A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
Abducted on a rainy night in 1988, the obnoxious drunk, Oh Dae-Su, much to his surprise, wakes up locked in a windowless and dilapidated hotel room, for an unknown reason. There, his invisible and pitiless captors will feed him, clothe him and sedate him to avoid committing suicide, and as his only companion and a window to the world is the TV in his stark cell, the only thing that helps Oh Dae-Su keep going is his daily journal. But then, unexpectedly, after fifteen long years in captivity, the perplexed prisoner is deliberately released, encouraged to track down his tormentor to finally get his retribution. Nevertheless, who would hate Oh Dae-Su so much he would deny him of a quick and clean death?Written by
I decided to check this movie out after Ebert's 4 star rave review, and the cult status this movie has received (and was also intrigued by the sexy-looking Ultimate Edition), so I decided to rent it. I was VERY surprised at how different it was than I expected it to be - I expected a ton of violence and not much in the way of writing or acting. The first time I saw it, I wasn't blown away, just kind of like whatever.
When I watched it for the second time, however, I really started to notice how well it's made, in addition to liking it more. Every shot is bursting with background detail, a great amount of attention on the production design (the theme of a certain color in a scene was restrained, yet perfectly balanced). The actors really gave it all, especially the 2 male leads who really blew me away. The music is a varied mix of beautiful classical music and some pretty cool techno. The screenplay is brilliant; the characters are developed very well, extremely complex, and the plot is not only ingenious, but the payoff and twists are 1000x better than any Shamaylan movie.
Simply put, from a technical point of view, it's one of the best movies ever. From a critic's point of view, it is a very well-done movie that goes a little overboard in sex and violence, and is just a little strange.
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