Netflix has now a good number of Korean films and series, and some are amazing with the quality of stories and direction. As we know that the Korean film industry is known for thriller and horror films, the one we are going to talk about here is the 2017-released suspense thriller THE CHASE. Starring Baek Yoon-sik, Sung Dong-il, and Chun Ho-jin in prominent roles, the film is directed by Kim Hong-seon (Traffickers, The Con Artists).
While the film started well with an interesting premise, it never really makes that mark in the story or usual twists in a suspense genre. The film seems more to make a point on a societal issue i.e. concerning the safety and care of elderly people, than making it one of the engaging serial killer stories.
[Other reviews: FORGOTTEN]
THE CHASE looks very simple from the beginning as people in the town start turning up dead resembling murder cases from 30 years ago. In fact, as a pattern, the killer first targets the lonely aging men and then preys on young girls.
‘THE CHASE’ – Movie Trailer
In the center of the story, there is a grumpy elderly landlord Shim Deok-Su, who seems to be too much bothered about collecting overdue rents from the tenants than anything else. Although he has not evicted anyone from his apartment, he is ill-famed for his bad temper. Unfortunately, he comes to everyone’s attention as his apartment becomes the latest crime spot for more than one murder.
First, a former detective – who was earlier investigating the serial cases – is murdered in his room, while on the same floor, a young girl gets killed while her roomie goes missing. While the cops are investigating the murder of the detective, the landowner and a friend of the deceased detective eventually decide to investigate the whereabouts of the missing girl on their own. They are motivated to do this because if they report this to the cops. they may get arrested at the same time there is a fear that the serial killer might kill the girl to erase all pieces of evidence.
Is the Korean thriller ‘THE CHASE’ any good?
THE CHASE lacks a compelling story that could hold our attention for a long. It tries to implant some comedic elements, but I could not really catch the humor (probably it’s the subtitle, not sure). Moreover, the film towards its second half becomes too generic and predictable. Honestly, I do not like the idea of making a cocktail of everything and advertising it as a suspense thriller.
Besides, I must mention that in the beginning there was indeed a great scope for characterization for both lead actors, but somehow that was not the case throughout the film. Having said all this, I would still recommend this for all the genre film lovers, not particularly for Korean film lovers, who have certainly watched much better ones.
[Other reviews: “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion”]
As I mentioned earlier, one thing THE CHASE does good is that it indeed throws some light on the larger social issues like being alone, especially the condition of older people, and the fear of dying alone. This truly catches a chord, looking at the news reports and crime happening to older people around the world.
Credits for THE CHASE (Ban-deu-si Jab-neun-da)
Directed by Kim Hong-seon
Screenplay by Yoo Kap-jeol
Cast: Baek Yoon-sik, Sung Dong-il, Chun Ho-jin, and Bae Jong-ok.
Release Date/Year: November 29, 2017
Now Available for streaming on Netflix