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After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu (Park) abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until mysterious wounds appear in the palms of his hands. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn (Ahn), hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.Written by
Well Go USA Entertainment
After losing his father as a child, a champion boxer finds that he has been afflicted with stigmata and begins traveling with a Vatican-sanctioned priest performing exorcisms in South Korea looking for a Satanic cult leader, and when he finds the man is responsible for the death of his father team up to cast out his evil.
There was a lot to like with this one. Among the better aspects on display is the fact that this one offers plenty of intriguing aspects to the religious undertones found within the storyline. The fact that the story is transposed to South Korea with all the usual trappings found in supernatural and exorcism stories with plenty of focus on his stigmata is a wholly impressive feat, giving this a recognizable and familiar grounding that is to be expected in such a situation. The various connections made to regular religious practices, including the priests who are shown performing the usual Christian rituals and exorcism practices as well as the Satanic interactions occurring under the nightclub operating as a front for the cult. That also leads into their conversations about his faith growing up and how he's waned over time which comes into play with the stigmata he has that allows for some rather intriguing philosophical debates about their religion that gives the film some extra weight. The other strong aspect to like here is the film's fun supernatural horror aspects. Starting with the dream sequence of seeing the religious ceremony that allows him to become possessed by the burning cross in his hand, the onslaught of possession tactics displayed here manage to give this some fun elements. The scenes of the shadows coming to life and toying with him are quite fun, as is the fiery exorcism attempt in the church where they attempt to exorcism the victim but eventually have to use his spiritual powers to finally cleanse the spirit. That there's a series of other exorcism attempts they perform in the community trying to track down the leader of the Satanic cult is where this one really works the best, offering up engaging battle tactics, impressive special effects and plenty of action in the battle to finally stop it leading up to the final fight as there's a lot of fun methods on both sides to get the upper hand in the brutal, emotional battle. Overall, these here are what hold this one up as the film does have a few big problems. The main one is the usual issue associated with these films in that there's no reason for this one to be as long as it. The love affair with adding over-the-top melodrama into everything here, from the overbearing intro that gives us far too much backstory than it really needs as it can tell this story in much sharper manners without going so heavily into these dramatic tendencies. This also causes a large issue with the film focused much more on their relationship and his journey back to the light of his faith that the main villain is incredibly underwhelming and not at all that scary, with no build-up at all in his motivations or purpose or what his plan actually is with all the possession attempts and cult practices are really for. That causes for a severe drop-off in the tension of the final battle where it's just another demon possession to overcome instead of the culmination of their journey, but this isn't a detrimental issue and only brings it down slightly overall.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
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