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Chaser (2008)

Yun-seok Kim , Jung-woo Ha , Hong-jin Na  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim, In-gi Jeong
  • Directors: Hong-jin Na
  • Writers: Hong-jin Na, Shinho Lee, Won-Chan Hong
  • Producers: In-beom Yoon, Moon-Su Choi, Sujin Kim
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc Independent Film
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y7F1IW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,596 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chaser" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In the tradition of hard-charging thrillers like The French Connection and Se7en, modern Korean gem The Chaser tells the gritty tale of police detective turned pimp Jung-Ho (played to down on his luck perfection in a star-making turn by HA Jung-woo). When one of his girls goes missing, Jung-Ho thinks she's been kidnapped and sold off. The truth is far worse: a sadistic killer has entrapped the poor woman and plans to torture and then kill her as the latest of his victims. Worse yet, even when the killer is detained by police, a series of mistakes and sheer incompetence lets the vicious criminal laugh at justice. In a race against time, Jung-Ho must discover the lair of this sick pervert and the hero that's been hiding inside his own beaten-down soul. So fresh and original it's already pegged for an English language remake, catch this award-winning box office smash in its original glory.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece That Film Critics Just Don't Seem to Get December 17, 2008
Format:DVD
This film has too often been dismissed by film critics in the English-language press as being "manipulative," "relying too much on coincidence" or "too violent." Some critics have even questioned the performances as being lackluster.

They couldn't be more wrong. This film is one of the best films to come out of South Korea in the last decade and is up there in its obsessive storytelling with the likes of Park Chan-wook's OLD BOY and Kim Ki-duk's THE COASTGUARD.

The story is about the chase to stop a serial killer by the least likely of protagonists, a former detective who was kicked out of the force for taking bribes and is now a despicable pimp.

This pimp is moved to act after some of his call girls go missing. At first he thinks some lowlife out there is abducting his girls and selling them to another human trafficker. Gradually, it dawns on him that a serial killer is killing them. Meanwhile, in the background, the police are also conducting an investigation to try to catch this killer.

Of course, this straightforward description doesn't do the film justice. THE CHASER is the best kind of thriller. In addition to social commentary about various aspects of modern city life, it is masterfully-crafted and executed.

What do I mean by this? As is usually the case with the best storytelling, the film places the viewer in the exact place and viewpoint of the protagonist, whose single-minded pursuit of the villain is hampered by the bungling of the very police who banished him from their midst. The film puts the viewer through all the emotions that the protagonist goes through. If you watch this film and do not find it emotionally draining, then it's time to go get a check-up because something is kaputt.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Both a Korean box office sensation and an international award winner (including the Korean equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar), "The Chaser" is one of those unexpected films that really gets under your skin. A gritty crime drama, "The Chaser" is known for many things including its unlikely protagonist, its condemnation of the Korean judicial and law enforcement systems, and its vivid brutality. Exciting and uncompromising--the film leaps into action from the first frame and provides a bleak and brutal entertainment that reaches, both viscerally and emotionally, beyond the typical genre trappings. A Hollywood remake is potentially in the offing as the project is currently being developed, but I'd definitely recommend checking out writer/director Hong-jin Na's original vision first!

Ex-detective turned pimp Jung-ho (a terrific Yun-seok Kim) has got a problem. When one of his girls goes missing, he assumes she has been taken and sold by a rival. Uncovering the possible culprit, he realizes that he's just arranged another date with the same client. He asks the girl who is now with the assailant to text him her location, but loses contact. Knowing the general vicinity where the first girl went missing, Jung-ho hits the streets. As the movie progresses into a frantic search through the underworld of Seoul, a more disturbing reality presents itself--he's actually dealing with a serial killer. "The Chaser" begins so strong, so unsettling, and so surprising. One of the film's greatest assets is Yun-seok Kim--an completely original antihero. You've got to root for this pimp to do what the cops seem unable to accomplish!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Korea Does It Again.... March 23, 2011
Format:DVD
Maybe my title is based on a stereotype, but it's a good stereotype. I've been watching Korean movies for six years now, beginning with Memories of Murder. I moved on to the Revenge Saga (Sympathy for Mister Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance), with a few others sprinkled in (The Host for one). All of these movies have a strange authenticism to the way in which the story is told. Fight scenes aren't these amazing sequences of superhuman abilities. They're real, dialed-down moments of violence and humanity. And the stories themselves are so unpredictable refreshing that it makes me wish that American film-makes would take notes. The Chaser is no different.

It follows an ex-detective turned pimp as he tries to sort out the strange disappearances of some of his women. Financially unable to just let these women up and leave, he uses his old talents and begins his own investigation. What he gets is a phone number, which leads him into a dark series of twists and turns. Now, he must not only find his missing women, but help the police to prove the guilt of the man he suspects of "selling" his women.

As I said before, The Chaser is a refreshing thriller. The story itself is told in many ways, sometimes funny or slap-stick (but never over the top), sometimes heartbreaking, and often times dead serious. This the directoral debute and yet it feels like a movie made by one of the industry vets. He's able to keep the pace of the film fast without losing or overwhelming the viewer. Of course it helps having phenomenal acting filling nearly every scene, even by a young seven year old girl.

All in all, The Chaser is an astounding film. I'm not often surprised anymore, but this movie has surprised me. I thought I saw the best that Korea has to offer, yet they offer The Chaser. If you're a fan of the movies I mentioned above, then there is absolutely no reason you won't enjoy The Chaser.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favs
Superb acting! This is one of many Korean movies that are in my top favorites. Though the ending disappointed me greatly the movie overall was great!
Published 4 months ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER EXCELLENT MOVIE FROM KOREAN CINEMA
This was a good one. Sometimes I gotta wonder if these Korean movies are real because the acting is excellent. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ward81
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest!
One of the greatest Korean movies up there with A Man From Nowhere and I Saw the Devil!! Definitely would recommend this to someone who likes a good thriller!
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars didn't care for the ending...
we watched the movie all the way thru...however, there is no desire to rewatch it. the movie is about a prostitute who gets abducted by a serial killer and the police are less... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Bookworm936
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other films of the same genre, but still pretty great!
Actually 3 1/2 stars in my book. This is a well crafted and somewhat original serial killer thriller from Korea. Great locations, direction, pace, and so fourth. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Quadro Sinead Summer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This movie is fantastic! Such a great film. It has so much intense scenes and it is such a thrill. It is just so good. One of the best films I have ever seen.
Published 16 months ago by Marco
5.0 out of 5 stars Taut Crime Thriller
This film was so gripping that I saw it twice at Fantastic Fest before it was out on DVD.

A ex-cop turned pimp who left the force to avoid criminal charges of his own... Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. A. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Killer is still alive!..part-2 ?
Something amazing about this unforgettably dark movie is that i never so a firearm drawn out by anybody including the police,not certain that they've ever carried one ! Read more
Published 21 months ago by Manjula Palihena
4.0 out of 5 stars Taut, Pessimistic Serial Killer Thriller from South Korea.
"The Chaser" is a serial killer film from South Korea, where it won a slew of awards and widespread popular appeal. Read more
Published 23 months ago by mirasreviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another great south korean thriller
Having seen for the past month, South Korean thrillers, I have to give a thumb up to this one, as well. Read more
Published on July 15, 2012 by Tk
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