Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.
The experience of watching this movie is akin to having your emotions scraped out with an ice cream scoop. The movie ended and I just sat there feeling empty and helpless, realizing that so many things are unfair and unjust and bad things happen to good people and bureaucracy is always about the power and never about the people.
Current Korean cinema knows how to do revenge thrillers, and they're quite adept at showing the incompetence of the justice system, but what really elevated this movie was the humor. It makes watching the film bearable, indeed it makes it so painfully human. For a film called The Chaser, the chase scenes in here are not at all your typical slick…
How misleading. The Chaser is no revenge thriller. It's police procedural. I've went in with wrong expectations, so things kind of dragged for me. They were sitting around smoking and chilling when I was anticipating for some hammer action, guess it's my fault for stereotyping. Still, surprises are always welcomed. I'm glad to say that The Chaser is one of the better surprises. Think Memories of Murder meet Se7en, Silence of the Lambs meet, uh, Oldboy.
Desperation, violence, torture, they're there. A sick, insane antagonist? Yup. Thinking about Ha Jung Woo's twisted smirk still makes my hair stand on end. Only thing missing is Choi Min Sik, any film's two times better with Choi Min fucking Sik.
I sounded like…
Taking a quick peek at the stars afforded this Korean revenge thriller by my friends here, I have a feeling my take isn’t going to be too popular.
I don’t have an issue with ultraviolence. I love Kim Ki-duc’s work, especially Moebius, and Kubrick’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and Tarantino’s ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ are amongst my favourite cinematic moments. I certainly don’t have issue with the typical Korean revenge film; in fact I can’t think of a single one I haven’t loved. It can’t be that it was about saving a little girl, like The Man From Nowhere, because I loved that one too.
No, I think it’s because this film has less in common with all…
South Korea, 2008.
Another day, another interesting addition to the 30 Countries Challenge. Another day, another interesting addition to the South Korean Revenge Thriller sub genre.
I swear. Koreans just know how to do something magical with movies like these. Puerto Ricans are good at baseball, Ireland makes good beer and South Korea knows how to make batshit insane crime dramas.
The Chaser has got every winning ingredient to make that special sizzling dish of Korean Revenge. It's got grisly violence when necessary, crazy characters, tense chasing and fighting scenes, cool urban style and unbelievable coincidences. It may not be as stylish as Oldboy or as off the wall…
Whew, that was a rough watch. I can't say I "enjoyed" it as that's not the right word to describe the experience, but it is damn good. The Chaser keeps you glued to the screen praying that everything will turn out for the best while simultaneously questioning your faith in both humanity and the legal system.
This film has everything you expect from a Korean thriller, including the mandatory gratuitous hammer violence, but tugs at the heartstrings a little harder than most. Yun-seok Kim shines in the lead role as does Jung-woo Ha as one of the most detestable and downright unrelatable villains that I've seen in a while.
All in all, The Chaser is good stuff and well worth your time.
When it comes to thrillers, no film industry around the world has done even half as impressive a job as Cinema of South Korea has since the dawn of this new millennium. Inspired from a real-life Korean serial killer case file, The Chaser tells the story of an ex-detective turned pimp whose girls have been disappearing lately without clearing their debts, leading to financial losses in his business. While tracking back, he finds out that all girls had vanished after meeting the same client whom one of his girls is meeting right now & decides to find him before it's too late, not knowing that the client he is dealing with is a sadistic psychopath.
For a film that presents such…
This film navigates expertly for the middle ground between Memories of Murder and I Saw the Devil (although it pre-dates the latter), but I'm not so sure that's a moral place to be.
As I get older I feel less blasé about violence against women in cinema, and where once I would have accepted it as generic convention, the fact that the inciting and concluding incident here is the brutal assault of a woman now seems pretty distressing to me. The film relies on that, of course, since Mi-jin's murder establishes (and re-establishes) the moral stakes of narrative.
Na Hong-jin at least takes those stakes seriously, but in reaching for them he goes to pretty excessive lengths, and it ultimately feels like an abuse of the audience's emotional faculties -- especially since it's done in service to an emotional arc that, while skilfully executed, is totally cliched. Quite good otherwise, though.
Every slight faux pas, either within the screenplay or the pace of the film is easily forgiven by the powerhouse performances and an almost hypnotic direction, which is interrupted every quite often with vicious on-screen brawls and fights that are so well choreographed that they seem to not be staged at all. Every time a character raises a hand or a folding chair at someone it always results in a full gratification of the viewer familiar with this breed of films and filmmakers. Those not familiar with it will be left with the mouth hanging open. I don't suppose the performers restrained for shit when it came to investigating and beating the tar out of each other.
They smoke relentlessly,…
There are some dark and bleak films which if you cut into them you find a soft gooey centre – The Chaser is more like a rancid onion in that every time you peel off a layer you find something as nasty underneath. It is unrelentingly bleak – every time there is a promise that something positive is going to happen, we, and the characters, are slapped down. It begins by showing two systems of violence against women: the main character of the film is an ex-cop pimp – when one of his women is beaten by a client he confronts the client and gets money from him: we might think he is going to give it to the beaten…
Unfortunately it didn't enthrall me at all and I don't know why - maybe because of the length. I was really looking forward to enjoying it.
The acting was great though.
March Around The World 2016 | Film 16 | South Korea
"You bitch, you're dead if I catch you"
An incredibly stylised and occasionally exciting crime thriller with an electrifying opening unfortunately hampered by a shockingly slow second act and an over-abundance of plot convenience. A group of very competent writers led by the visionary direction of Na Hong-jin clearly had trouble adapting the real life killings of murderer Yoo Young-chul and heavily fell back on tropes of the detective genre, to disastrous effect.
To state that this film is based on true events and therefore everything presented is factual is like a criminal claiming ignorance. Clearly it would go without saying that any film based on true events would…
Truly something bone chillingly fantastic . I love The Chaser's bleak tone , brutally realistic fight scenes, Ha Jung Woo playing a creepy serial killer , wonderful chase sequences , original story and incredible direction. If the pacing was cleaned up a little within the 2nd act , this would be perfect cinema .
Die Koreaner können es einfach: Düster, hart und unfassbar brutal präsentiert sich THE CHASER als ein kompromissloser Thriller, der bis zum Ende fesselnd und verstörend bleibt. Eine echte Perle des asiatischen Thrillerkinos und eine absolute Empfehlung an alle, die OLDBOY und I SAW THE DEVIL mochten.
Took a disappointing turn after a promising first act.
Complete list. :-(
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…