Pastor Park works to expose suspicious religious groups. He's hired to look into the cult group Deer Mount. Meanwhile, Police Captain Hwang investigates a murder case and the main suspect is a member of the Deer Mount cult.
The young girl Young-shin seems to be possessed by demon and Father Kim and Deacon Choi are about to investigate the case. But to save the life of Young-shin, the have to find out if the girl is truly possessed or maybe the victim of a human force. Or in the worst case both.Written by
"The Priests" utilizes western possession aspects, implements them in oriental setting and succeeds in extracting terror from both worlds.
Normally eastern horror movies would dabble in traditional myth or folklore, for example the haunting of girl with white dress and long hair which plagues Japan, China and even Indonesia. It's a pleasant surprise that a Korean movie tries to incorporate possession and religious tone into this genre. By maintaining respect from the original source and using it in unique atmosphere, this is a commendable as well as a successful excursion to other side of horror.
A young deacon (Dong-won Kang) is called to assist Father Kim (Yun-seok Kim) in the exorcism of a young high school girl. Both men have no connection before, and their personalities are too far apart. This is not the usual mentor and student relationship, the older Father is weary and brash which makes him a contrasting character to the young deacon. However, necessity ensures that they have to work together.
The first act is admittedly rather slow, it gives a nice look of the priests' lives and appreciated details about possession. However, this tends to stall a bit as the movie strolls through some subplots that are not necessarily crucial to the story. It ramps up significantly as the two priests walk closer towards possessed girl, at this point visual dims to portray dark premonition against the bright light of modern city.
This is suspense build up and showcase of exorcism done right. Its unusual oriental vibe works in the movie's favor by clashing the cultures together. Details like traditional rituals, tight apartments and occasional bleak view on metropolis splendidly set up the ambiance. The cinematography used is extremely chilling and engaging, viewing the struggle in creepy close encounter. This rings especially true when they face the malicious entity.
At its peak this is one of the most eerie displays of the genre. The exorcism in the east uses enigmatic theme and unorthodox setting to conjure novelty and gripping terror.
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