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Friday, November 30, 2012

Haunters (2010)


also known as: Psychic
Counrty: South-Korea
Format: movie
Genre: surreal, action, absurd
Cast: Gang Dong Won, Ko Soo, Enes Kaya, Abu Dodd, Jung Eun Chae, Byun Hee Bong, Yang Kyung Mo,
Synopsis: Kyu Nam starts working at small pawn shop after being hit with a truck on his birthday and loosing his job at junk ward. One day the dreamlike work at pawn shop ends, when one man walks into the shop - everyone seems to be frozen and do not seem him. Cho In grew up with a brutal childhood with abusive father and unstable mother, whose problems where caused by Cho In's supernatural ability to control all the people who are in sight of his view. But at the moment in pawn shop he understands that Kyu Nam is not a normal person either as Kyu Nam does not surrender under his control. A war where only one of them can live starts between two supernatural men.
Rating: 3/5
A Superhero movie from Korea - rather unexpected. While I watched it, I really did not get it whether it was supposed to be an action movie or a comedy. There are scenes that are dead serious, but next ones are absurdly funny. The superhero parts make it similar to M. Night Shyamalan's film "Unbreakable" (2000), which is the reason why many times these two are compared. (I have not see "Unbreakable", so no further comparing by me)
Firstly, Koo Soo plays the part of Kyu Nam - ordinary man who suddenly has superpowers. The movie does not explain where he is from or how did he get those neither if he has had those powers since birth. But the thing you understand, is that he cannot die! No matter how serious the damage is, he is able to come out of it, which for me made it veeery absurd. I know I am not the person, who likes those unrealistic superheros. Kyu Nam takes it as his responsibility to kill Cho In, who is "harmful" to the human race. But Koo Soo acting is great and I know that he has many fans, who watched it especially because of him.
Playing Cho In was Gang Dong Won's last role before enrolling into the army (now he is back and ready to get into entertainment business again).  Even though Cho In was villain, who caused innocent people's deaths, I found him pitiful, because he was not the usual bad guy. He did not want to rule the world or get extremely rich - he just wanted to live, which was difficult in this society considering his power, because it took time to finally have a control over it. Same as Kyu Nam, we do not get to know where he got his powers from, so the best thing is to think that they were just born with those. At first I did not understand why he searched Kyu Nam after meeting him for the first time. If he really wanted to live, then he must have gone far far away, but I think that he searched for Kyu Nam because of curiosity and to test his limits. Those two characters are built on character differences - they are each other opposites in every way.
The star characters of the movie are Ali and Boba - one from Turkey and other from Ghana. It is great to see actors from other races too, because you do not see them much in Asian movies. These two made me feel like I am watching some funny epic comedy or even parody of the thriller-action supermovie.. I meant superhero movie. Well, they light up the serious and depressive atmosphere. If we would cut all their parts and edit movie into two parts, then we will get exactly two movies - parody and serious thing. Must mention that Enes Kaya and Abu Dodd have very good Korean, but there is almost no information about them. (I do know that Abu Dodd also acted in a movie called "Pacemaker" in 2011) 
The camerawork is great, actors and script are good, but the movie itself does not have any development inside it. It is all just about Kyu Nam and Cho In fight. I know that many watchers have liked it, critics have enjoyed it, I am "so-so" without any real emotions about it. If you watch it, then watch, if not, then don't. But I recommend it to watch it with a lot of food and great company to enjoy it. 


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