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The story centers around female detective So Young [Song Yoon Ah] who seems to be a sort of tortured soul, always experiencing nightmares and apparently haunted by a tragedy in her past. She is teamed up with a rookie Hyun Gi [Lee Dong Wook] on a murder case where the victim is found burned to death though the cause of death is found to be asphyxiation. Later a series of similar murders has the detectives struggling to put the clues together in search of a serial killer. The clues point to a connection with a murder case that occurred many years ago.
What ultimately lifts this movie for me is not really the supernatural aspect [which is quite typical in comparison to other Asian horror flicks], but the well-crafted storyline with its twists and turns. You don't really see the connections until the ending and that really made me appreciate the movie even more. Though there are a few plotholes, all in all the story did seem to flow seamlessly and the lead actors do a pretty credible job of keeping the suspense alive throughout the film.
If you have been watching way too many Asian horror flicks, then you will not find anything new or exciting with thr supernatural part of this movie, but if you like to see something new with the detective story within a horror story, then this is worth checking out.
The detective in question is So-Young Min, who is just coming off a suspension for beating up a man accused of sexual assault...We'll learn later about the dark secret that she hides and the reason for her hatred of sexual predators. She is saddled with a new partner, a rookie to the violent crimes unit who transferred over from forensics. He's over eager but is willing to learn from the experienced So-young Min. The pair are soon investigating a series of brutal murders of a group of friends who were involved in a murder nine years earlier. A young man was killed and shortly after, his girlfriend Kim Min Jeong goes missing. The men involved begin seeing apparitions of a hideous, pale female with blood dripping from her eyes like tears.
They each receive e-mails that plays a video showing them the site of the Salt storehouse where the murder took place nine years earlier. Soon the detectives are frantically scrambling to unlock the secrets of the past and to save the surviving partners. But Arang is a film loaded with sudden twists and secrets and what seems to be a pedestrian ghost story takes a turn for the clever and gives viewers much more.
The apparitions are the typical we've seen in many recent Asian horror films...they are seen as cars pass and elevators descend, or in the lens of a camera but quickly disappear. Still, the director Sang-hoon Ahn does a marvelous job building up the suspense throughout the film.Read more ›
The acting is top notch and it does what all Asian cinema tries to do...present the same old-stroy line with a twist. When they succeed it is a homerun. And this one is still traveling out of the park.
No telling of the plot, try other reviews for that. Just get it. I saw the prices. It is a bargain.
The downside of Arang, the first feature-length offering from Blind director Sang-hoon Ahn, is that it treads no new ground at all; it takes a common Korean mythological figure (if you google Arang, you'll come up with many versions of the story; even Wikipedia has an entry on the Arang story), weds it with a detective story, and comes up with, well, every Asian supernatural mystery that's been made since the mid-nineties. The upside of Arang is that it separates itself from the pack with some of the finest cinematography you'll see outside a Kiyoshi Kurosawa film, and even were the film not all that hot (and it is a well-made enough film even without the incredible photography) it would be worth seeing for that reason alone.
Plot: So-young (Secret's Yun-ah Song) and her brand-new partner Hyun-ki (The Recipe's Dong-wook Lee) are assigned to the case of a murdered schoolgirl in a backwater coastal village; it doesn't take them long to discover that this case is related to a murder a decade earlier--that of Hyun-ki's first girlfriend, Min-jeung (Thirst's Ok-bin Kim). Needless to say, Hyun-ki grows obsessed with the case quickly--but it's So-young who begins to have visions of the murdered girl...
Cinematographer Kwang-suk Chung has no other credits listed at IMDB. That doesn't necessarily mean anything where foreign crew members are concerned; IMDB is notoriously incomplete when it comes to work outside Hollywood/Bollywood. But if it is the case, it's a crime against humanity that must be rectified as soon as possible; what Chung did with cameras in the filming of this movie is something special indeed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I BOUGHT THIS PRODUCT BECAUSE IT'S BEST THING IN THE WORLD I FREAKING LOVE IT CAN'T DO WITHOUT THANK YOU.Published on April 1, 2013 by Emerito T. Delacruz
After reading the great reviews, I decided to purchase this movie as I absolutely love a good scare. Read morePublished on February 19, 2011 by Jane
Arang was like no other Asian horror film I have ever seen, but I don't think calling this a horror movie is the right category. Read morePublished on February 4, 2011 by bryan
Four young men are being targeted by someone, or something. An old salthouse, the subject of numerous rumors about hauntings and murder was the sight of a grisly crime. Read morePublished on November 22, 2010 by Channel KDK12
This film I would give a 2/5 if it was a horror alone BUT... this movie plays more out like a detective story which is surprisingly interesting because it salvages the film. Read morePublished on September 11, 2010 by maskedgamer
If you buy this movie hoping it treads new horror territory, you're in for a dissapointment. There's nothing here that you haven't seen or heard before. Read morePublished on September 20, 2008 by L. C. Tomas
The story was refreshing, but it had the typical asian ghost. I also enjoyed the actor's commentary.Published on September 8, 2008 by Crystal
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