I originally added this movie to my queue because it starred Cha Seung Won; and since he’s one of my favorite actors, it was definitely a ‘must see.’ A few of the other notable names and faces in this movie (at least for me~ 😉 ) are Ji Sung, Park Yong Woo, and Cheon Ho Jin. With this movie, you are immediately pulled into the life and community of an island in the 1800’s, and it doesn’t take long to see how deceit and politics play a major role in the everyday life of these people…oh, and let’s not forget about superstition.
In 1808, special investigator Wong Gyu is sent to an isolated and largely autonomous island, away from the Korean mainland, to solve a case of arson, but soon finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. As he strives to find the killer, and the lies and secrets grow as fast as the body count, he begins to understand the complexity of life in this small community. And it’s not just the death toll that’s causing the residents to worry, but the sadistic, methodical way in which the victims are killed. Wong’s dogged investigation leads him to suspect that the murders are related to mysterious events that took place seven years earlier, in which the former owner of a paper mill was executed for Catholicism. The townspeople believe an evil spirit is responsible for their troubles, but as a rational man, Wong Gyu has no time for such superstitions. Soon, however, he is forced to re-evaluate his views as the string of gruesome murders continues unchecked, despite his best efforts, and he begins to understand why he was sent to investigate these crimes.
What I enjoyed about this movie was that it was a constant mystery. Once you thought you had something figured out, it turned out to be something completely different! I’m usually pretty good at putting pieces together, but I was stumped throughout. Is dark magic present? Is it a sign of revenge? Human or ghost? Hrmm…who knows! The best way to find out is to watch. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. BUT — I will say that there is violence, and a few of the scenes (although CGI) are bloody; just a heads up for the squimish! 😉
I give this movie a 3.5/5