Posted in: Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 7th, 2012
When I started to review this film, I thought I would come up with a hokey beginning to celebrate the 31 Nights of Terror. That might have worked if I had reviewed It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown or a Lindsey Lohan movie, but to be truthful there is not much humor in this movie to be had. So let us skip the theatrics for at least one review and go straight into reviewing Bedevilled.
The movie starts with a story when vegetarianism was the way to go and the narrator went to camp for four days. The first day, they decided to talk a walk and they were showed various plants and told they could eat them. Some did, some did not. Later at night when they asked where the food was, the instructor said “Did you not get your fill during the walk?” The people laugh. They pull up to a scene where they see two thugs beat up a young girl and then chase her. The girl runs up to the car where the group of people is to ask for help. Unfortunately, they roll up the window and we fade to black.
Meanwhile, we watch a scene where an old woman begs a bank’s young loan officer for money. A quick outburst later and the loan officer has to excuse herself and leaves the old lady with no help and no money. The loan officer, Hae-won (played by Seong-won Ji) drives off in her Kia to go to the police station to identify the victim’s assailants from the night before. Unfortunately, it does not seem to get very far and the two thugs are released as Hae-won walks to her car. A brief altercation with the thugs later and she is forced into secrecy and can not say anything further against them in fear of her life.
When Hae-Won gets back to the bank, she realizes the old lady had a loan approved by her co-worker, Ji-Soo (played by Tak Sung-Eun). Hae-Won makes a rude comment against her and departs. Hae-Won later tries to apologize via text to her while sitting in the bathroom. All of the sudden, the door is locked in and the lights go out. She pounds on the door and then tries to get out. She tries to climb over the stall, slips and falls through the door. When she comes back, she sees the pink slippers that she saw under the stall belong to Ji-Soo and she immediately slaps her in front of everyone. A brief second later, she sees another lady in the same slippers.
Hae-Won is ordered to take a vacation. At home later, she tries to choke back her pain by chugging a can of Guinness and another and another. Hae-Won decides to head for Moodo Island where her grandfather used to live in hopes of relaxation. There she is greeted by her childhood friend, Kim Bok-Nam (played by Seo Young-hee) as she introduces Hae to the island folk including her husband, Man-Jong (played by Park Jeong-hak). Something is wrong on this island, and as Hae-Won will quickly learn, this is not a vacation spot at all.
Even though this movie starts off focusing on Hae-Won, the focus soon shifts to Kim Bok-Nam and her plight on the island. As it turns out, she is abused constantly, to the breaking point. To be honest, it’s pretty harrowing to sit and watch abuse to any human never mind a frail young female. Seo Young-hee does a fantastic job. She really does, her full range of emotion is amazing. The men of Moodo (particularly Kim’s husband) despite acting like complete scum do an admirable job too of making you hate them through and through.
Also, a bit of warning, there is implied sex with a child and we actually get to see a child murdered. Have I mentioned the movie is very rough to watch? Anyway, at least the movie does get something of a satisfying ending even if it takes a very torturous path to get there. Not to mention that it gets a little confusing at times as well, well mostly Hae-won’s actions. It is a movie that I have a hard time with on a number of levels but it certainly does move you.
The video is in 2.35 Widescreen presentation in 1080P. Despite the violent themes of the movie, there is a lot of pretty scenery from Korea. Daylight and nighttime scenery are both equally decent allowing to give the viewer to gain a full view (whether we want it or not). Color and flesh tones are excellent, it is very beautiful and uses the shadows from the outside very well. Honestly, if the movie was not so painful at times, it would be a pleasure to watch the scenery.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 Korean DTS-HD track (2.0 Dolby Digital Korean track also included). English subtitles are naturally also available. Sound is also very excellent with dialog sounding adequate from any of the speakers. In this way also, we get an abundance of surround effects as well as beautiful music enveloping the sound all around the environment. The production values on this movie are actually a lot better than I expected.
- Automatic Trailers: Nightfall (looks really really good),Doomsday Book, War of the Arrows, and A Better Tomorrow (remake).
- Behind the Scenes 12:44: The Behind the Scenes opens up to the two main girls in their bathing scene. Well that kills the notion that they really were nude when they did it. Darn camera tricks. They also take a look at how they did some of the closing action scenes too, particularly the showdown between husband and wife.
- Trailer 1:36: The trailer is in a word, odd. It makes it seem like a horror movie with a bit of black comedy. It paints Kim Bok-Nam in an absolutely awful light when her story is that of a tragedy.
This movie won a ton of awards back in 2010, so it is a little bit of surprise that it took so long to get a major release. Perhaps it has to do with the very sensitive subject matter and wondering how America people would react over such a release. The truth is that a lot of people will not like this movie and some people might enjoy it as satisfying cinema. I always come from the camp that I want to watch a movie where I can escape for a little while. I might have escaped here but it is not my idea of a good time.
Technically, the video and audio are superb, in fact it’s awesome. The extras are very minimal but fans of this movie should be pleased with the release. As far as a recommendation goes, most people should get the gist of what this movie has to offer and then be able to decide for themselves from my words here. It is not an easy movie to watch but there might be something here for those who dare to step inside.