Friday, June 20, 2014

Film on Friday #16 - Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek, from director Huh Jung, is Ram Releasing's latest DVD release. It was one of the highest grossing films in South Korea in 2013.

Okay, I admit it - I love a good scary movie. Sometimes I love it from behind a pillow but still...

Hide and Seek opens with mysterious person in a motorcycle helmet, simply standing and staring. This person appears throughout the film. I gotta tell you, that inaction is just as frightening as overt violence - it's the anticipation that something might happen that builds tension.

Our main character is Sung-soo. He has a beautiful wife and children, gorgeous home and plenty of 'things'. But he's also unsettled, suffering from insomnia and OCD. When he gets word that his estranged brother has gone missing, he goes to his apartment. And sets off a chain of events with that visit. Those symbols he sees by the doorbells of his brother's building? They're now appearing in his own building...

What great settings there were in this movie. The brother's apartment is in an industrial, crowded and ready to be demolished building. In contrast, Sung-soo lives in a luxurious, clean building with security. (I just have to mention that I've never seen a cleaner, brighter parking garage.)

Hide and Seek starts off with many lovely, creepy scenes, setting the tone. Outright violence is only introduced in the last half hour of the film. And even then, it's not over the top or gratuitous.

The acting, although a little overdone in places was good, with the villain being played particularly well. (don't want to provide spoilers) And as in any good thriller, there are those..."Why would you.... go back in, don't turn your back, leave the children alone...moments.

In watching the interviews with the director and actors, I learned that the premise for this film had its' roots in reality. Squatters - making their homes in other people's homes. Very creepy. And very real - a quick search on the Internet turned up numerous examples.

Ram Releasing is a genre offshoot of Film Movement, specializing in horror and thriller titles. Hide and Seek falls into the thriller zone and was definitely worth watching!

South Korea/Korean with English Subtitles/2013/107 minutes

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