Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
In June, Innocence and Intruder were released in the theater, which has been seeing the downturn since the outbreak of COVID-19, opening up the gate once again. Coincidentally, the two works have something in common of being a “family thriller,” which tracks the truth behind the family-related incidents. Innocence is about proving the mother’s innocence from being wrongly accused of a murder, while Intruder tells the story of revealing the true identity of the sister who returned home after decades. The main characters who struggle between faith and doubt over someone they love the most, what choices will they make?
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) – Abusive stepmother, silent father
The movie tells the story of strange things happening to the sisters, Soo Mi and Soo Yeon, who returned home after a long convalescence. Overall, the movie has a thick tone of a horror film, and the family seems to be hiding secrets, drawing intense tension. From the stepmother who abuses Soo Yeon, to the father who ignores it, and Soo Mi, who is furious about everything, the series of questions surface as to what this family is hiding. As the story processes, the reason why this family acts so strangely is put together like a perfect puzzle, and at the end, when everything is finally revealed, the movie leaves a deep sadness beyond shock.
Metamorphosis (2019) – Who is the one possessed by the evil spirit?
The movie tells a strange and creepy story of what happens when a demon who can take the form of a person hides into a family. By adding the element of mystery of finding out who is possessed by the evil spirit, Metamorphosis, an occult film like The Exorcist, presents dynamic fun. At first, you can easily find the evil spirit since some of the family act so oddly, and at the time, Sung Dong Il and Jang Young Nam’s performances as they are possessed by the evil spirit are quite chilling. However, as the story progresses, the identity of the evil spirit becomes crafty, and tension rises as it uses the doubts and suspicions within the family to create bigger traps. Now, who is possessed by the evil spirit? The devil’s game continues.
Accomplices (2013) – What if my beloved father is a kidnapper?
The movie is about the daughter who found out that the kidnapper’s voice from an abduction case that is about to run out of statute of limitations sounds just like his father. Accomplices starts from a terrible assumption, “Is my father, whom I love the most, a kidnapper?”Da Eun denies everything at first, but when her father is named the prime suspect under various circumstances, she feels guilty as if she had become an accomplice. The movie creates dramatic fun through Da Eun’s dilemma. Is her father really a kidnapper like Da Eun believes? The contrasting facial expressions of the two characters as they face the truth come as the most shocking scene in the movie.
Forgotten (2017) – Suspicions begins when the kidnapped brother returns
Something peculiar starts to happen after the brother, who was kidnapped, returns. The movie is about the younger brother who pursues his suspicions about his brother and ends up facing the shocking truth. Kim Moo Yeol and Kang Ha Neul play the two brothers who doubt each other, delicately expressing the psychology of the characters who gradually go to extremes. Also, the directing that pressure the main characters using various devices in the house is excellent. The truth, revealed with a shocking twist, explains why the two brothers doubted each other, leaving an unexpected feeling.
Mother (2009) – The mother who tries to exonerate her son from being a murderer
The movie depicts the mother’s struggles to exonerate her son when he is accused of murder. The movie made headlines at the time as the new project of director Bong Joon Ho after The Host and with the casting of Won Bin and Kim Hye Ja as the mother and the son. Rather than drawing “suspicions among the family,” Mother focuses on the “unconditional faith to the family” and draws a gruesome picture of the strifes brought out by extreme maternal love. The mother who strives to reveal her son’s innocence bears painfulness, and the ending scene leaves a strong aftertaste apart from the bitter end.