Tag Archives: South Korea

Review: Next Sohee — Fantasia Festival 2022

July Jung’s Next Sohee is a story told in two nearly equal halves. In the first half, high schooler Sohee (Kim Si-eun) is awarded an externship to work at a call center office. Conditions at the call center are tense and only get worse as Sohee tries to acclimate to a highly competitive environment and training which has her doing everything in her power to delay unhappy customers’ service cancellations.

As Sohee tries to weather the hostile work environment, she grows distant from her friends, suffers in school, and amplifies her alcohol consumption. When she hits the brink, the film fades to black and we switch perspectives to Continue reading Review: Next Sohee — Fantasia Festival 2022

The Witch: Part 2. The Other One (2022) Movie Review

Park Hoon-jun’s The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion was a financial success upon its release in 2018, and it garnered some accolades in South Korea and beyond, particularly for its lead performer Kim Da-mi. It is altogether an exciting film, blending gritty action with more fantastical, comic book adjacent tropes (the medical experiments central to the premise are similar to the Weapon X program of X-Men lore). For its reported budget of US $5.5 million, the film looks slick. It’s a fun time.

The Witch: Part 2. The Other One does some typical sequel things. Namely, it expands the world of this story. The Subversion is predominantly concerned with the narrative of Ja-yoon (Kim), an adopted young woman whose past catches up to her. Her unique abilities and ailments point backwards to her origin as the victim of a medical experiment. We follow her Continue reading The Witch: Part 2. The Other One (2022) Movie Review

The Villainess (2017) Movie Review

The opening scene to The VillainessĀ employs the same video game POV styling of Hardcore Henry, although here director Byung-gil Jung doesn’t mince any words.

While directed flashy, this opening scene benefits from its frenetic whip pans which hide some shoddy CG blood effects. Five minutes into the film, when the camera pulls back to reveal our protagonist for the evening—the almost mechanically ferocious Sook-hee (Ok-bin Kim)—the camera captures stunt choreography more successfully. Still, the whole scene remains overly frantic and shaky.


Why spend so much time discussing the film’s opening scene? It is Continue reading The Villainess (2017) Movie Review

The Host (2006) Movie Review


In a U.S. Army Base, a germophobic scientist (Scott Wilson) instructs his assistant (Brian Rhee) to dump loads of chemicals down the drain and into the nearby Han River, because the bottles are covered in dust. The result is exactly what you would expect. That is, if you expect a giant fish monster.




The HostĀ has a beautifully shot opening after this U.S. diversion. A man, leaning hopelessly over a bridge, staring into the murky depths below, notices something large and Continue reading The Host (2006) Movie Review