Film review – Old Boy

Old Boy DVD

Wolfpaw asks what do we want from a Horror film? Not a stupid question as horror means many things to many people…

Is it Stylish Slasher, Psycho Psyckness, Blood and Gore, Monster Mash or Alien Apocalypse?

Or is it something totally different?

Something that will dig deep inside you, wrap itself around your soul and give you the most horrific “hug” you have ever experienced.

Will make you stop breathing?
Will it make you want to vomit?
Will it put you off sushi for life?
Will it make you wonder if anything is true or real?

That is exactly what Old Boy will do.

Old Boy is the second of the “Vengeance” Trilogy by Chan-wook Park and deals with a double dose of vengeance with both male leads vowing to have their day on the other.

Dae-su Oh (Min-Sik Choi) is on a bender instead of being at his daughter’s birthday party when he is kidnapped and held captive in a hotel like room in a “private” prison with just a TV for company for 15 years. His attempts at escape and suicide do not succeed. Increasingly losing his mind he learns his wife has been killed and his daughter adopted.

Eventually released with new clothes and a mobile phone and the assistance of sushi waitress Mi-do (Hye-jeong Kang) he starts his sworn trail of vengeance for the death of his wife and to hunt for his daughter, little knowing that he is beginning something much larger and much, much darker.

His captor (Woo-jin Lee played by Ji-tae Yu) phones him and gives him 5 days to solve the mystery of his capture or Mi-Do will die.

And so it begins……

A severely twisted tale follows as Dae-Su eventually finds his captor and the story behind his captivity is revealed.

The whole of the film is beautifully filmed in vivid, sumptuous   colours which perfectly match the tone of the film and the brilliant screenplay which has been adapted from a Manga comic. The plot is teased out like a wool spinner spinning wool into a fine yarn. Most film plots are thin and transparent but Old Boy’s is like concrete, solid, substantial and very opaque, only revealing exactly what the director wants and when he wants you to know it, brilliant.

Within the film there are moments of brutality, horror, the usual blood and gore (but not much), a superb one shot fight sequence, self harm and a secret that when revealed will horrify and probably disgust many people, but it shows vengeance can be painful for all involved.

Old Boy is a film that sticks in the mind and you will probably watch it several times, it has great actors, wonderful story, fantastic direction and most of all is truly horrifying in every way. All these factors will make this film stick in your mind forever.


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