19th July 2013
The Puppet– 꼭두각시– directed by Kwon Yeong-rok. Starring Lee Jong-soo (as Ji-hoon), Ku Ji-seong (as Hyeon-jin), Won Gi-joon (as Joon-ki), Han So-yeong (as Yoo-ri). Running time: 85 minutes. Release Date: June 20, 2013.
This is just going to be a short review. This is a newer film so I feel the need to avoid spoilers so I will keep this post to just my quick impressions. The movie has some good points and several disappointing parts, The good in this film is the pacing. I really had absolutely no idea that I was at the end of the film when it came. There are many movies that I start checking my watch to figure out how much longer until the end comes, and many others…especially when thinking about Korean horror films that don’t seem to know when to end. The Puppet, although it could have continued on, chose to end the film on a very disturbing image and let our imagination take over as to what, if anything, would happen next in the story of these characters.
What is the bad? Well, much of the film seemed like a male’s erotic fantasy. It was certainly the director’s intention to have some of these scenes be uncomfortable because of that situation that led up to them which is understandable in terms of story.And of course, the script justifies ..or perhaps ‘redeems’ this situation by the conclusion.
Another problem I had was the absolute wasted use of the puppets. There are lots and lots of puppets.. I would have used them more. Yes, they were symbolic when used.. the director hits us over the head with that, but I would have liked to seen them used more in the horror/thriller elements of the film.
Actually, I question the need to classify this film as horror.. thriller definitely, but horror..not so much.
I would like to say more about the film, but I would rather not spoil it Honestly, the more I think about it the more I have to say. I was originally going to give the film a rating of 4 out of 10, however, the fact that I have a lot to say about it and it has gotten me thinking as I write the review makes me raise my original evaluation to a 6 out of ten. Perhaps, at a later date, a second viewing is in order.