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"Dramatic Supernatural Thriller"
suspiria1030 January 2005
The very well acted South Korean supernatural thriller tells the story of Hyun-min an expert in facial reconstruction. His expertise is used by the police to help give faces to murder victims who have long reverted to skeletons. He reluctantly helps with a case that seems to be the work of a serial killer but how and why does it tie into his daughter, who is sick after having a heart transplant? What is an apparition trying to steer him to? Can Hyun-min solve the murder and save his daughter…

A slick drama with supernatural overtones is at the heart of this thriller. A bit of a twist in the end too, which I must say I wasn't expecting when it came out of left field. Excellent acting and an interesting story are punctuated by a good sound design that helps to creep you out when the time is right.

Face a solid and engaging thriller with a few creepy moments. The overall atmosphere is a bit weak since the scares are a little bit sparse and far apart.
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Another Good South-Korean Supernatural Movie
Claudio Carvalho22 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Lee Hyun-min (Hyeon-jun Shin), who works reconstructing faces from skull, quits his work in a institute to stay with his Beta-allergic daughter Jin that was submitted to a transplant of heart by the specialist Dr. Yoon. The newcomer researcher to the institute Jung Sun-young (Yun-ah Song) comes to his house bringing the skull of a victim of a serial–killer that had her whole body melted down with acid by the murderer. Hyun-min refuses the assignment, but he is haunted by the ghost of the victim and scared he decides to reconstruct the face of the woman. When Jin has trouble with the transplanted heart, Hyun-min requests the donor case history to Dr. Yoon, but the doctor refuses to give the information, claiming confidentiality issue. Dr. Yoon becomes the prime suspect of Detective Suh, who is in charge of the investigation of the murder cases, and he discloses the identity of the victim based on the reconstructed face. Meanwhile Hyun-min has a premonition and finds another skull buried a long time ago below the sand in a field. He reconstructs the face, unraveling a supernatural secret.

"Face" is another good South-Korean supernatural movie. The non-linear screenplay develops a good story that blends crime, horror, drama and romance in an adequate pace, good cinematography and performances. Unfortunately there is a great flaw in the plot, since it is not explained why Sun-young does not bring her own skull to Hyun-min. I understand that the spirit that haunts Hyun-min is the donor of Jin's heart Cho-yen Run. If Sun-young was able to interact in the world of the living why did she get another skull? But this movie is a great entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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Very good South Korean horror.
HumanoidOfFlesh19 December 2004
Hyun-min is an expert at reconstructing faces of people from their skulls.His daughter undergoes a heart transplant and as her condition deteriorates,he quits his job to care of his daughter full time.Meanwhile,the police are dealing with a series of ghastly killings,where the victims have had all their flesh dissolved away with acid,leaving only the bones behind.A beautiful woman Sun-young shows up at his door with the skull of the fourth victim,hoping that he'll be able to reconstruct the face.Suddenly Hyun-min starts to see a creepy ghost of a young woman in a white robe."Face" is a creepy South Korean horror film with some effective scares.The story is actually totally captivating and there is enough twists to keep the viewer interested.There is a little bit of grisly gore and the acting is top-notch."Face" is not as good as "A Tale of Two Sisters" or "Tell Me Something",but it's still better than most of American crap being churned out today.Give it a look.8 out of 10.
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Nifty Korean Supernatural Thriller (its more drama than horror film)
dbborroughs6 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A father, traumatized by the illness of his daughter is asked to help the police reconstruct the face of yet another victim of a serial killer. Unable to cope he at first he refuses but visitations by the ghost of the victim and the need to find out where his daughters transplanted heart may have come from, he begins to try to give life to the dead.

I really like this movie. Not really a horror film but more a drama with very strong supernatural overtones, Face has a few scares but is mostly a really good police drama. I know that many people expecting a balls to the wall fright fest have are disappointed but this quiet little film is a wonderful change of pace. Indeed the monsters here are human and the ghosts are merely victims. Those looking for something like Ju-On, Ringu or other overt horror films should look elsewhere since this isn't that sort of movie. More concerned with character and the mystery at hand, this is a really good change of pace. To its credit the film did make me jump three or four times, so there are some scares to be found, however more importantly this movie made me care about the characters and what was happening.

There is little to quibble about, pretty much everything in this movie works, its only flaw being a confused time frame towards the end.

See this movie. Just because its not a traditional horror movie doesn't mean that you shouldn't take the time to see it. Its simply a really good change of pace. 8 out of 10. Put it onto the list of must sees.
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Pretty, even interesting, but conventional.
chalyss1 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this film for the first time last night and I have to say it was as lovely as it was disappointing. One of the reasons I watch Asian films is to get away from the conventional pacing and 'scares' of American movies. "Face" has incredibly American pacing and predictable attempts at frightening the viewers. And I do mean predictable. Allow me to illustrate.


It was not long after the movie started... oh, about 3 minutes or so... where I started calling the action and fright spots from my chair. Not that I'm great at that kind of thing (though I've been getting better at it), it was just THAT easy to predict. Every conventional spook they could throw in, they did.

There were two plot twists that I did not expect... the first skull being someone else and the big twist, which I won't reveal. There was a great deal of Ju-on style scare tactics here, lots of the same makeup... add a dash of Sadako for good measure and you have the horror part of the movie. Now, if they had touted the film as a thriller with some supernatural overtones, it would have been different... this was an interesting film.

Well, interesting premise. I loved the idea of the re-constructor, but the rest was basic stuff. At least it wasn't a case of 'organ makes recipient do bad things' or anything. Mostly it was a murder mystery that happened to have a ghost in it, and if you take it that way you won't be disappointed by the lack of scariness.

The movie also dealt slightly with black-market organs and how far doctors will go to help their patients, as it were. The movie touches on many small aspects without ever really delving into any of them, which is unfortunate but understandable. The filmography, the picture, the handling, everything was really well done. Korean films are often very pretty, though, with a great deal of potential delivering less than expected or, worse, less than they are capable of delivering. More than once has a Korean film left me mildly disappointed story-wise, though always satisfied visually. They also tend towards very good actors and music scores. All this adds to great padding and fluff, gorgeous eye-candy and just a little weak in the script. The climaxes are generally less than they should/could be as well.

All in all, a seven out of ten. It's worth watching at least once and definitely enjoyable despite its story flaws.
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Another nice "thriller" from Korea
I found this movie quite entertaining. The story at first seems like the usual Asia horror, yet it has an interesting twist. I don't want to tell too much though. More and more good horror movies are coming from Korea these days and I rank this as one of the better efforts.

It is not your typical haunting ghost story, it's more of a thriller with some supernatural elements thrown in, so it is not very scary (from a Westerner point of view).

Wondering where all of those beautiful korean lead actresses are coming from, it gets me every time ;)

I give this an 8 out of 10.
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A Korean Forensics Film
Desertman8428 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Face is a mystery thriller about Hyun-min, a forensics scientist/researcher who is trying to solve a serial murder. Aside from that, he also has a daughter that is undergoing a heart transplant. Inspite of its good story, the movie does not spark the viewer's interest. The film started slow and nothing major happens for the first one-third of the movie. Things started happening in the second part that viewers were probably already bored as it has already turned out to be a drag.

Aside from that, Shin Hyun Jun and Song Yoon Ah provided average acting performances that their characters,Hyung-min and Sun-young, did not generate interest from the viewers as well. The story also turned out to be predictable and weak at the end. In short, the movie fell flat and turned out to be average due to the reasons mentioned above.If better actors and director were involved in this project,Face would have become a great thriller.
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Scarecrow-881 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A facial reconstructionist for the police department, having turned in his resignation due to stress and a sick daughter whose lost her smile, is receiving visitations( does his ailing daughter)by a dead woman's spirit urging him to pursue the face of a skull that will lead to the identity of a serial killer surgically removing hearts from young women for a doctor who doesn't question where the donated organs come from.

A certain twist in "Face" is gonna take a leap in logic for folks to accept it. The film shows our hero, Lee Hyun-min (Hyeon-jun Shin), being plagued by a demanding ghost and an "assistant", Jung Sun-young (Yun-ah Song) motivating him to continue his work. He first believes his mission in finding the identity of a skull will lead to his daughter's health rejuvenating(..the film points out the possibility that the ghost will not let his daughter's heart function properly unless her killer is apprehended). When our facial reconstructionist desires to know the identity of the donor whose heart resides in his daughter, the master heart surgeon's resistance proves that there might be a corrupt means of obtaining these organs. Soon the surgeon is found hung by a noose and the whole film takes on an even greater hunt for the killer whose identity still remains unknown. An assistant shows up at our hero's door step claiming she's to help him put the face on a specific skull. When that skull isn't of the woman he was hoping, a vision leads him to yet another one, buried under sand, rotted partially. Whose identity of the skull this entails is yet another twist that'll have you going, "Huh?!"

The whole film is really this building of a mystery..who is killing these poor girls, and who is the ghost haunting Hyun-min. The pay-off certainly is a stunner. Like I said, this twist might be a bit too much for some viewers to accept. I liked this film, myself. I thought it built the story along nicely, with a lot of heart behind such a grisly premise. Not that violent as you'd expect. Does work more as a hunt for a killer with Shin and Song working beautifully together on screen as we witness their characters' blossoming love for one another. And, I thought the film's following a facial reconstructionist was a great's rare that we get a film designed from this character's point-of-view. Too often it's the detectives and forensic teams, yet this film significantly focuses on the importance of a man who can put the face to a damaged skull. His role is even more important because the killer melts the bodies after removing the hearts. There's enough spooky ghost stuff(images of the female ghost pop up around Hyun-min as she appears in mirrors, her shadows on the floor, coming towards him, crawling on the ceiling, etc) to hold viewer's interest, I believe..that is what draws the audience into checking out the film and it's plot.
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Horror meets Crime
go_go_yubari_no_aku30 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film reminded me of what happens when horror films meet CSI. Some things were really obvious but if you are in fact new to Korean horror start with this. Some may see it was a boring movie but to me Face was a fairly good story with a decent plot, and an all around shock, not scare, factor. If they just changed a few things around it might have been better. The overall ghost originality, though complained about, is understandable. Onryo are use a lot in the Asian culture.Their appearance is White burial kimono, Wild, unkempt long black hair, White and indigo face make-up called aiguma. Some of this appears in this movie of course. Now as for PLOT originality it was a smart plot, and it you are in fact only watching the move for its horror aspect you more then likely not like it.
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comic_bookguy31 August 2005
This is just another Asian horror where white painted ghosts are seen from "scary" angles with their heads bent down. There aren't any frightening scenes whatsoever, only clichés and repetitions from earlier (and better) films. The story isn't that bad really, but this would have been a lot better film without the supernatural bits. I mean, what is it with the Koreans and ghosts when it comes to horror? The Japanese and the Chinese have made a lot of good, creepy and gory movies without using ghosts in their stories. However, "Bloody Beach" is one good example of a Korean horror film sans ghosts. "Face" on the other hand is a typically dull example of just how one-note the Asian horror industry of today has become.
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Not a horror movie
ewa-38 October 2007
"Face" is a detective story/murder mystery with supernatural elements and a few of the images used in recent Japanese and Korean horror movies. The protagonist works with the police reconstruction the appearance of murder victims from fragmentary skeletal remains including a few recently that have had all the soft tissue burned away with acid.

His daughter is recovering very slowly from a heart transplant and we see (but the characters don't) that some of the hearts available for transplant into patients with complications may have been harvested by other than ethical means
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You May Not Face Your Fears in this Particular Horror Movie, but you will Certainly be Impressed
Two thirds of the predictions I made six minutes into Face were proved accurate by the end of the feature. In that sense, predictability is something this film suffers from, with other aspects of the film's conclusion been foreseen over the course of the plot. However, in no way does this hamper the film's entertaining features.

Dr. Yoon (Suk-hwan Ahn) has recently completed a heart transplant on young Lee-jin (Ye-rin Han) who is Beta-allergic, meaning the operation was more difficult when in contrast with other patients. Appearing successful, Lee-jin's father, Lee Hyeon-min (Hyeon-jin Shin), who works as a facial reconstruction expert, resigns his post in order to spend more time with his daughter.

His hope for some quality father-daughter time is shattered though when his former boss, without his permission, forces him to become a part of an ongoing case. Jeong Seon-yeong (Yuh-ah Song), a recent addition to the institute Lee used to work for, arrives with a skull connected to a murder case. Someone is prowling the streets, killing women, and using an acidic substance to dispose of their bodies. The only way to stop this unidentified killer, is to put a face to his victim.

Originally adamant he will not participate, Lee finds himself haunted by the ghost of the victim, and is torn between been a good father, and fulfilling this final job. With Jeong's assistance he begins to put a face to the mystery, and with every new reconstruction, they get closer to revealing the victim - and their killer.

In the beginning, Face provides the audience with what can only be described as an overdose of horror, this plentiful assortment becoming less prominent as the film progresses. The jump scares are not entirely terrifying, but will certainly assist in keeping you rooted to the spot, despite a number of them been cliché Asian horror tropes.

What makes Face so rewarding is the depth provided to the central characters. The chemistry between Lee and Jeong is a joy to watch, and you cannot help but hope for a happy conclusion between them. Their characterization however comes at the expense that other individuals, including Detective Seo (Seung-wook Kim), who is the lead investigator on the case, are not provided the same thorough level of depth.

The same can be said for Lee-jin, and though there is no doubt that Lee loves his daughter, there are moments in the film when there is no mention of her for a substantial period of time. Face is a movie with several plots occurring simultaneously, and though everything is effectively intertwined, this movie is evident that when film developer's are dealing with more than a couple of ideas, some inevitably remain in the background for a majority of the feature.

The filmmaker's use of revealing past events to the audience over the course of the story is a technique similarly used in other Asian horror features, and like some of them, it can occasionally become difficult to separate history from the present, though everything succinctly comes together in the end.

Though Face is a movie constructed from ideas that are not uniquely imaginative, the plot continuously keeps your interest, and the beautifully sad conclusion will truly leave you feeling impressed.
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Brilliant when it's on, decent when it's not
slayrrr6664 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Face" is an extremely underwhelming genre-mixture that doesn't do enough for either.


Tired of working a case, Det. Lee Hyun-min, (Shin Hyeon-jun) resigns so he can spend time with his ailing daughter Jin, (Kim Seung-wook) who has just received a heart transplant. Trying to help her, Jung Sun-young, (Song Yun-ah) arrives to ask his help for a police case in reconstructing an unidentified victim's face. As they continue their assignment together, he becomes worried when her condition becomes more severe, and suspects there might be more to the story behind it. Driven by research, he finds something sinister occurring that involves her surgeon and a secret organ-donating ring that supplies organs from runaways to surgery patients, and they all race to stop their actions before they can happen again.

The Good News: There was some good stuff to this one. One of the best parts is that it features some really good attacks from the ghost where it gets somewhat exciting. There's a really brutal surgery scene in the beginning, where the bound victim is seen to be cut open with a scalpel, while still alive, and is then maneuvered in such a way as to appear that a series of inner organs had been removed during the process, which just makes it all the more creepy. Another surgery scene, only one that doesn't involve the brutality of the earlier scene, is just as good and actually has some rather uneasy moments to it. There's also a rather creepy scene where, while stopping at a railroad stop, a vision of a young girl being run over by a train completely unaware of the situation before seeing a series of dismembered body parts fly by before a vision of the disembodied head lands on top of the car and winks, which makes for a startling scene. This one even has a top-notch regeneration scene within that looks incredibly well-done and freaky, with the disjointed movements knocking the body into position, the complete inability to determine what it looks like before the finale and a just overall outstanding scene make for a fun time to be had. Perhaps what makes the scene all the best, though, is the fact that it manages to do the whole thing during a thunderstorm outside, which automatically makes it even creepier than it should be and makes the scene all the more striking. The way the mystery is built up in here is also quite nice, as the different elements seem to have very little in common but are woven together quite nicely, making for a well-designed if slow-building story. The last plus here is the finale, which is a lot of fun. From a full-on brawl to a series of close-calls on an operating table and the final shootout that results in a graphic demise, this ending here is pretty exciting and gets a lot going for it. These here are what work for the film.

The Bad News: There was a couple of rather big flaws to this one that hold it down. One of the biggest issues is that the film is just so slow-paced that it's hard to get excited for anything in here. The beginning is mostly held up with the detective angle, which is mostly because it just consists of endless scenes of his working on a clay sculpture of a human head lecturing those around him about whatever pops into his head, from his daughter's condition to the finer exploits of the profession, and none of them are particularly interesting. They take up so much time in the beginning that there's no time at all for anything creepy to happen, unless a viewer is slightly unnerved by the sight of a human face without the skin attached. The extended nature of these scenes is where it goes down-hill, due to the fact that they take up so much of the time that there's just nothing left for any fun scenes to take over, which is how these fail. Also taking up a lot of time in the film is the rather cliché and totally unnecessary romance between the leads, which is not only found in just about most of these films anyway but is done so haphazardly that nothing makes any sense as to why it would start. It's just completely unneeded and doesn't add anything to the film without having anything important being added to the film. The last flaw to this is the film's rather dull detective angle. Due to the fact that the other detectives are running around with the information manages to really slow this one down when it needed to pick up the pace, and these scenes really just slow the film down. These here are the problems.

The Final Verdict: A not entirely-spectacular ghost entry mixed with a detective film, making a film that's too slow for a ghost film and too dull for a detective film. Really only give this one a shot if you're into the style of thee or just curious, while those who are much more on-the-fence should heed caution.

Rated UR/R: Graphic Violence and Language
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Ju-on meets Koma
Seth_Gecko355 April 2005
I was bitterly disappointed at this Korean attempt at a scary thriller. Having been a Big fan of Asian horror, and a huge fan of Korean film, I guess I felt the disappointment even more.

The scares were unbelievably predictable, and the reactions were even more questionable. I just felt that it wasn't sure what it wanted to be, and seemed to be an attempt to cash on in several other genre flicks.

For those out there who haven't seen the Ju-on's, or Ringu's, or the many more like it, you may get a few scares, but they are few and far between.

But for those of you (like me) who have an extensive collection of superior Asian (or Western horror) I really think you should not bother. You'll just get annoyed (as I did).

I give it a 3/10
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Utter trash
Tokyo-199715 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is probably one of the worst Korean horror movie I have ever seen. This movie starts out well at the beginning, with effective scares, like the mirror scene. Some gore in the beginning contributes well to the film. Mystery elements are there. This movie is about reconstruction of a face. When the film is at the halfway mark, it becomes utter trash. What one will get to see is long, boring, draggy dialogs, showing the silly guy reconstructing and reconstructing the face over ten times. It gets terribly dull and boring, and makes one want to go to sleep. Just long boring dialogs between the main character and a woman. Yawn... Nothing really scary overall. The films attempts to be a little more interesting towards the end, when it gets more absorbed into the mystery, with a huge and great plot twist. The storyline becomes interesting towards the end. You get to find out why the bad guy was murdering others, because his son suffered some kind of illness, and feels that life is unfair for him. I thought the storyline was OK. But the film was just terrible, lack of adventure, extremely repetitive. The atmosphere for this film, was dark, unclear and dull, making the film undesirable to watch. If you want a good K-horror movie, go watch the red shoes.
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Asian people just must be easier to scare!
JoeB1312 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I think I've come to that conclusion after watching a number of Japanese, Korean and Chinese horror movies, that you just don't need all that much to scare Asian audiences.

The plot line is that there is an investigation into the disappearances of girls where only their bones are found. Someone is harvesting their hearts and then boiling the bodies in acid to hide the crime. The center of the story is a criminal pathologist who reconstructs faces of dead girls from their skulls, but his daughter received a heart transplant from an unknown source. He is haunted by a not particularly scary ghost into finding the killer!

Again, if you saw Ringu, or movies of that ilk, you get the flavor of what is going on here. Or you can just wait for the American ripoff with some blonde actress.
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Good movie
IMDBer10057529 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I just took about 6 shots of Belvedere (vodka) while watching this movie. I'm on my 8th shot now...or 9th...I lost count. This is my first review while under the influence of alcohol...but I probably have better spelling and grammar than 95% of America.

Anyway...the acting in this movie is fine. It's a foreign language to me so I can't truly tell if the acting is good or not but from body language and facial expressions, it's fine to me. As always, as I always say, it's a horror movie so there's not a lot of skill required to portray the roles.

Atmosphere was also well done. I don't can't remember a scene where the music was off or the camera angles should've been better selected. The whole mood of the movie was well set and well-paced.

The negative side of this movie is that I did not feel a lot of emotions. This movie was quite bland to me...or it could've been the six shots of Belvedere. Either way, I was emotionless throughout the movie. I DID feel for the young girl for having a bad heart...I'm not so cold-hearted.

I'd skip this movie. For Asian horror, it sucked. Ringu still reigns champion in my book for Asian horror. That and Sick Nurses...those two movies are the epitome of Asian horror to me. I have a bunch of other movies to watch tonight...yes, I'm buzzing, but can't wait to see the other movies. Either that or I'm going to seriously reinstall my World of Warcraft and get some PvP points!!
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