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October 21, 2012

Movie Review: Bedevilled (2011, Blu-ray)

Korea has really been putting out some amazing horror films over the past decade. In my opinion the most sterling example has to be Jee-woon Kim’s I Saw the Devil but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be any other films to knock it off the Korean horror mantle. Well Go USA always seems to have the pulse of Asian genre films so it’s no surprise to see them pick up Chool-soo Jang’s Bedevilled for a home video release.

Hae-Won (Seong-wan Ji) is a Seoul-based business woman who has fallen on hard times at her workplace. After making the not so bright decision of slapping a co-worker in front of the boss she gets a “vacation”. Over the past few weeks Hae-Won was receiving letters from her childhood friend, Kim Bok-nam (Yeong –hi Seo) urging her to come back to the island of Moodoo where she grew up with her grandfather. Instead of a real vacation she chooses to visit her friend to get away.

Kim Bok-nam and her family farm for a living on the small island. Her husband and brother in-law are the top dogs on the island along with her hag aunt. It’s a hell of sorts on Moodoo for Kim Bok-nam and Hae-won has no idea what she is in for once she gets settled.

For some people Bedevilled is going to be a slow burn as much of its drama unfolds in the first half. That drama though is highly disturbing. While not graphic or manipulative like A Serbian Film there is quite a bit of physical and sexual abuse towards Kim Bok-nam by her husband and fucked up family members. There’s also child abuse though it’s handled very well without being explicit. It’s implied enough which makes it absolutely horrific. The second half of Bedevilled will make slasher enthusiasts cheer. This one gets bloody, folks!

Bedevilled is very much a rape-revenge film, and a superb one at that. What really puts Bedeviled over-the-top is Yeong-hi Seo’s chilling performance as Kim Bok-nam. This girl can act! Just watching her transform into a vengeance-seeking mama bear is worth a watch. The supporting cast is very solid as well.

Well Go USA has supplied a few extras in the form of an American trailer that kind of just makes the movie look like a routine slasher (which it ain’t) and some cool behind the scenes. Bedevilled is a must for fans of Korean horror, revenge and slasher films. Highly Recommended!

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