Newest Reviews
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
End, The
Man from Mo'Wax, The
Newest Articles
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
  Bedevilled She Ain't Gonna Take No MoreBuy this film here.
Year: 2010
Director: Jang Chul-soo
Stars: Seo Yeong-hie, Ji Seong-won, Hwang Min-ho, Je Min, Lee Je-Eun, Park Jeong-hak, Ahn Jang-hun, Ahn Su-yun, Baek Su-ryun, Che Shi-hyeon, Chun Yeon-min, Han Dong-hak, Hang Hae-ji, Hong Jae-seong, Hong Seung-jin, Gi Seop-jeong, Jo Deok-jae, Kim Gyeong-ae
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: For sophisticated Seoul bank assistant Hae-won (Ji Seong-won), she doesn't like anything in her life which will disrupt the status quo, and doesn't wish to think about those less advantaged than herself if it means contemplating anything outside her neat sphere of modern existence. That also means that when she witnesses a woman being beaten up in the street and is called in by the police to help with their case against three young thugs, she visibly dithers and refuses to commit to identifying them, not least because she is afraid when they confront her in the car park afterwards and warn her off...

But Bedevilled wasn't going to turn into an urban revenge thriller as it might have appeared from the opening ten minutes or so, as it instead took the path to rural drama, then thriller, then outright horror as events come to a head. Hae-won is so tightly wound that when she gets into trouble at work, her boss pointedly suggests she take a vacation while the company decides what to do with her; you could observe she was stressed, but director Jang Chul-soo (making his feature debut after serving as assistant director in Kim Ki-duk movies) wasn't going to let her off the hook as easily as that, and we have to work to find much sympathetic about her.

The whole objective of the film might have been to teach her a lesson, but it was more blatantly to alert South Korean society and other communities like those it depicted across the globe that there was a culture of exploitation going on, and the ones being exploited were women. Rather than a patronising "on your side, sisters" moral lesson, Jang opted to show rather than tell of his concerns, and often in the most harrowing fashion possible. When Hae-won decides to return for her break to the isolated island of Moo-do where she was brought up, she has no idea what she is letting herself in for, specifically in regard to her childhood friend Kim Bok-nam (Seo Yeong-hie) whose letters she has been ignoring for a while now.

Quite why she recalled this place as a rural idyll when it's patently the opposite is never really explained, but more important than that is what it's like now for Bok-nam, and her delight at seeing her old pal again doesn't mask the torment she is enduring at the hands of the others on the island. She is determined to do right by her ten-year-old daughter, but her husband, Man-jong (Park Jeong-hak), is so obviously a terrible person who is planning to abuse the girl is merely the tip of a very nasty iceberg, exposing the corrupt heart of the country folk at odds with the prettiness of the surroundings. The social issues were definitely there to be mused over, but also vital to the plot because when all hell broke loose we had to understand why.

Jang was illustrating that while this wasn't based on a true story, the emotions were very much authentic: essentially, the victimised will either internalise or externalise their abuse and in Bok-nam's case both as she suffers daily indignities (used as a slave, either for labour or sex) as if she thinks she deserves it, until a tragedy occurs which makes her snap, realising she has done too little too late to right the wrongs committed against her and her daughter and therefore bringing down a bloodthirsty wrath upon those who pushed her too far. Seo won a brace of awards for her performance, and it's not difficult to see why as she invites pity for her character, pathetically glad to see a friendly face who she wants to be taken back to Seoul with only for even Hae-won to betray her, leaving Bok-nam thereafter an object of fear and deliverer of violence. If there was anything to take away from Bedevilled, it was not to tolerate such vile behaviour that breeds vengeance or worse: Jang took it to an anguished extreme, far from easy to watch, but his point was vividly portrayed. Music by Kim Tae-seong.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1023 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier

Recent Visitors
Stately Wayne Manor
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone


Last Updated: