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Arang

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Arang

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(Asia Extreme/Horror) A veteran female detective, So-Young, and her rookie assistant are investigating a recent series of bizarre murders. All of the victims seem to have died due to an acid unleashed inside of their bodies. As the two detectives discover more about their case, they soon start to realize that the recent serial killings may have something to do with a mysterious death that occurred ten years ago in a salt house. Soon, So-Young becomes plagued by nightmares in which the dead girl appears. And the killings continue.

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Made during the 2006 horror boom in South Korea, Arang is a stylish and well-made variation on the theme of the vengeful ghost that has proved so popular in Asian genre films. Horror fans should note, though, that the supernatural element is the least interesting aspect of writer-director Ahn Sang-hoon's feature; anyone who's seen the Japanese or American versions of The Grudge or The Ring will be disappointed to find here yet another take on the long-haired, water-logged female ghost with painful revenge on her mind. Instead, it's the framing device that catches the most interest; the discovery of the ghost is precipitated by the horrific murder of two young men, which leads hardboiled detective So-yeong (Yun-ah Song) and her rookie partner (Dong-wook Lee) to the scene of a forgotten rape and murder from years ago. The crime has particular resonance for So-yeong, who is the survivor of a similar attack, and this subplot adds a layer of drama and realism to an attractively photographed but otherwise by-the-books Asian horror title. The DVD includes commentary by Sang-hoon and members of his cast, and the filmmaker is surprisingly candid about what works and what doesn't in his movie. A small selection of deleted scenes, as well as two behind-the-scenes featurettes and the theatrical trailer, round out the extras. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: So-yeong Choo, Won-joong Jung, Hae-in Kim, Ok-bin Kim, Dong-Wook Lee
  • Directors: Sang-hoon Ahn
  • Writers: Sang-hoon Ahn, Jeong-seob Lee, Seon-ju Jeong, Yun-kyung Sin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Tartan Asia Extreme
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000NA28GG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,847 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arang" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on October 14, 2008
Format: DVD
When I read the blurb for the movie "Arang", I admit my interest was piqued as this didn't seem a run-of-the-mill horror story. I'm glad I watched it as though the entity in the movie is nothing new [the woman with long dark hair, bloody eyes, darting around and popping up in dark corners], the storyline is actually quite refreshing.

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.
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Format: DVD
Arang is a Korean horror film on the Tartan Asia Extreme label which mixes elements of The Grudge, The Ring, along with a good ol' fashioned murder mystery into one tight package. Throw in a female violent crimes detective with a troubled past, and you get a very ambitious film that tries to do quite a bit and is generally successful in doing so.

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.
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Format: DVD
I can not believe I waited this long to write this. Arang is a terrific detective story covered with supernatural hints or inferences. You will never really be sure which it is.
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.
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Format: DVD
Arang (Sang-hoon Ahn, 2006)

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.
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