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[Guest Film Review] "RV: Resurrected Victims"

2018/01/27 | 326 views | Permalink

As I have mentioned many times before, crime thrillers is one of the top categories with the most entries in the Korean cinema. "RV: Resurrected Victims" however, manages to stand out by using the supernatural in the mix, and particularly by presenting it as something completely logical.

The script is based on Park Ha-ik's novel "It is Over" and revolves around a prosecutor, Seo Jin-hong, whose mother was murdered 7 years ago, making him a legal "vigilant", always eager to punish those who commit crimes by admonishing the harshest punishment. At the same time, he keeps investigating his mother's death, since he is not content with the results of the police investigation. Suddenly, though, his mother, Myeong-sook, comes back to life and seems to be eager to kill Jin-hong. A while later, it is revealed that similar cases has been occurring all over the world, with a number of murdered victims coming back to life to exact revenge from their killers. Based on this fact, Lee Soo-hyeon, a high-ranking criminal investigator starts examining the case, thinking that Jin-hong had something to do with his mother's death. As the story progresses, a number of secrets are revealed.

Kwak Gyeon-taek's direction is great, as he gradually unveils layer after layer of secrets and misconceptions, in order to reach the shocking truth. What becomes evident, and quite peculiarly, is that the resurrection concept is not examined almost at all, as it is just being used in order to move the story forward, in a case though, that is anything but. As the twists follow one another, Kwak manages to retain a sense of agony and disorientation similar to the one the protagonist experiences, as he learns more about his own life. In that fashion, the script is quite complex, but his direction, along with the editing, keeps it from becoming confusing, despite the frequency of the plot twists.

One of the film's best assets is Seo Jin-hong's deconstruction from a strict, unwavering apostle of justice to a nervous wreck, as he learns the truth about his past, the murder, and his mother's actions. This concept also includes the always-necessary melodramatic elements, although in this case, they are "confined" to the movie's finale.

In this fashion, Seo Jin-hong gives a convincing performance in the protagonist role, with his downward spiral being the highlight of his effort. Kim Hae-sook is also great as his mother, with the scenes where she becomes violent being exceptional. Jeon Hye-jin-II as Lee Soo-hyeon is also good in the role of a dynamic woman who has to face forces she does not understand with just her resolve and intelligence.

"RV: Resurrected Victims" is a very entertaining film that manages to retain the agony until the finale through a combination of crime-thriller and horror elements.

Review by Panos Kotzathanasis

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"RV: Resurrected Victims" is directed by Kwak Gyeong-taek, and features Kim Rae-won, Kim Hae-sook, Sung Dong-il and Jeon Hye-jin-II.

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