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The Chaser (2008) – English Review

Where are my whores?

The Chaser shows that you don’t have to have a lot of money to make an exciting and good thriller. It’s amazing how much director Hong-jin Na managed to do here and with a script that doesn’t stand out as much from other movies where it’s a race against time. The rhythm is perfect, it looks so simple, but it’s not!

We follow a former cop who now works as a pimp. His whores disappear one by one, and he takes the matter into his own hands. He finds a phone number that is constantly showing up, and he suspects that the girls are being sold. But what he doesn’t know is that it’s a serial killer he’s dealing with. The problem is that he has sent another girl to this serial killer, and now he doesn’t get in touch with her when he tries to contact her. Is she dead or is she alive?

The Chaser has a really good actor who has become one of my favorite actors from South Korea. His name is Kim Yoon-seok, and he’s so good in The Casher. Ha Jung-woo who plays the serial killer is also good. But it’s only when he’s alone with defenseless women that he becomes really creepy. What a nasty loser of a so-called man this is!

One small problem is that most of the characters are either stupid or unsympathetic. But the protagonist changes slightly after a meeting with a young girl. He then becomes more sympathetic and human. The serial killer doesn’t have that much depth or layers. He is a simple character. But it’s amazing how much Jung-woo Ha manages to create with so little. He creates a character you hate so much. I wanted the protagonist to tear his heart out and eat it!

The police in South Korea are being bullied in many movies. And when you see how stupid they are in The Chaser, you know that you are seeing a movie from South Korea. They run around like headless chickens! Stupid idiots!

We find out who the serial killer is after only a few minutes. Although it’s revealed early, the movie is suspenseful to the last second. The end isn’t as expected, which is always a plus. Here we are talking about a dark, dark ending. And I love it! South Korean movies are so dark and twisted!

There is a lot of investigation and search for clues in The Chaser. You don’t get to see long car chases or shootouts. The Chaser offers a few foot chases, otherwise, it’s a movie that has its own pace. There is of course violence here, after all, we are in South Korea. There are some close-ups in the movie that are pretty intense. Especially the little homage to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre movie is nice! Ouch!

Rating: 9/10

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