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Due to inadequate use of anesthetics, a young boy experiences intra-operative awareness during his own heart surgery, hearing every sound and movement of the procedure. The little boy is severely traumatized from this horrific accident. As a result, he ends up brutally murdering a young girl soon after the incident...
The marketing execs who approve the cover art of these South Korean DVD releases should be shot. Wide Awake (aka The Return) is not a cheap slasher as the cover depicts.
On the contrary, it's a very entertaining thriller with a lead antagonist who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing anesthetic awareness during a childhood surgery. This is chock-full of originality because the killer uses exotic medical tactics to dispatch his victims. The orchestration behind one particular murder is magnificent, going down as an instant classic in cinema. The storytelling structure not only hides the killer's identity to create compelling mystery, but it also makes the viewer use their brain to piece together relationships and clues to engage and entertain. The final half hour has perhaps one too many twists, but this packs quite a punch. There are a handful of similarities to "Oldboy."
Do yourself a favor and see this. It's quality entertainment.
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