Starring: Han Suk Kyu, Shim Eun Ha, Ahn Suk Hwan, etc.
Running Time: 118 minutes
Twinkies: 3.5 out of 5 (It’s great, but like The Man from Nowhere, I can only watch this once.)
Synopsis: A detective (Han Suk Kyu) investigates a series of murders that are all connected to one woman (Shim Eun Ha). As he pieces together the clues to capture the murderer, he unexpectedly finds himself the next target of the elusive murderer, one who has been killing off all of the woman’s past lovers. It’s only when the woman is safely on her way to Paris does he learn the whole truth behind the murders, leaving the audience with the chilling knowledge that the murderer has escaped and free to kill again.
Musings: You all know by now that I don’t watch horror or thriller movies often because…I value my sanity. I have an extremely active imagination–sort of comes with my profession, one might say–and watching horror films would ensure that I spend many sleepless nights reliving some of the more gruesome images while the rest of the family sleep soundly in their beds. Case in point, I had nightmares about vampires on and off for about two years when I was in elementary school because my younger–yes, younger!–sisters insisted we watch the old black-and-white vampire movie starring the famous Bela Lugosi. Now, some of you may chuckle over the fact that my ten-year-old self had variations of Dracula nightmares from a mere “suggestive” movie, but those suggestions were enough to provide my little brain with enough fodder for two years’ worth of nightmares! That’s how susceptible I am to horror. *shudder*
Having said that, though, I found myself wanting to watch this movie because so many people and so many Korean movies and dramas were making references to it. It was, after all, the first bona fide Korean movie to bring Korea’s brand of horror to the movie industry. And more importantly, it was the first horror movie that Koreans were proud to claim as their own.
Beyond that, though, what finally made me buckle and watch it was a tiny mention of the movie in my then favorite movie at the time, A Perfect Match. Some of you may remember the three friends discussing how they wished they could pieces together their perfect man. Needless to say, after that reference, I felt as though I had to watch it…or I couldn’t say I was Korean. LOL
So I chose an extremely bright and sunny day for my foray into the dark world of Tell Me Something so that I would have sufficient time to recover before going to bed. As I watched in muted silence, watching as one scene unfolded into the next, I barely noticed my two graduate school roommates return home. They, too, were surprised I was watching a horror movie. I admit that at one point–the elevator scene–I felt the urgent need to call one of my friends to talk me through the scene. This really happened.
After 118 minutes or so, I finished the movie, appreciative of the story and what it adds to the genre. It’s a provocative psychological thriller that may seem a bit clichéd now but was relatively refreshing back in 1999, or in my case when I saw it in 2002. Thankfully, the murders take place off-screen with only the body parts showing up in random places. The denouement, in itself, was worth taking the journey through this movie. The visual imagery and music of that final scene…beautifully rendered.
It’s a bit gruesome, but I would recommend it for those of you who have a penchant for horror movies or thrillers. This is a classic in the purest sense of the world…all psychological thrill and minimal violence…I think. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and since it’s so late at night now as I type, you know that I’m not going to watch it again for a clearer recall…no matter how much I may love my twinkles. 😉
Have a great week, and let me know if you get a chance to watch it or have seen it already. Here’s the trailer for your viewing pleasure: