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Bedevilled (2010)

  Tags: Asian Horror, Bedevilled, blood, Chul-soo Yang, drama, gore, Jeong-hak Park, Ji-eun-i Lee, korea, korean, Min Je, Min-ho Hwang, revenge, Seong-won Ji, south korea, thriller, torture, violent, Yeong-hie Seo

Your rating: None Average: 7.2 (5 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

bedevilledposter.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Chul-soo Yang
Runtime: 
115 minutes
Cast: 
Yeong-hie Seo, Seong-won Ji, Min-ho Hwang, Min Je, Ji-eun-i Lee, Jeong-hak Park


Bedevilled is a masterful piece of revenge cinema to come out of South Korea. First-time director Chul-soo Yang details how much one person can take before they lose grip of reality and snap. In this case we start off with a young apathetic woman, who decides to take a much-needed vacation from the city and return to the little island where she grew up. Home to less than a dozen people, some of the inhabitants in the island aren't too fond of her return, with the exception of her ecstatic friend, who greets her with open arms.

Though the flick starts out with the city girl, it's her island friend that's the actual lead of the movie, as we follow her throughout a majority of the film. Beneath that smile and open arms is a woman hurting and in dire need of an escape herself. Getting beaten by her husband and ridiculed by the locals is a regular occurrence for her. Having grown up on the island with nothing but physical and mental abuse from the people, a sense of worthlessness is all she's come to know. If it weren't for her daughter, she probably would have ended her life ages ago.

That all changes when an unfortunate accident leaves her daughter dead, and the woman now in a state of disarray. After working in the hot weather, picking several potatoes from the ground, she stops and stares directly into the sun, when it "speaks to her" and she finally realizes what must be done. At this point she grabs a nearby rice scythe and proceeds to stab and slash her way through the islanders in a seemingly justified and gory manner.

Unlike a lot of other revenge flicks, they really take their time and develop to what leads to the woman's madness and massacre of the people on the island. We witness the woman tortured mentally and physically through more than an hour of the film, and those around her offering little-to-nothing as far as assistance goes, as they brush her problems off and turn the other cheek. Even her city-friend doesn't provide much help in matters, leaving the woman to feel a strong sense of isolation in her downward spiral.

The entire time I was just waiting for the woman to finally snap and (as wrong as it may sound) finally give these heartless people what they may deserve. That's just an example of how strong the filmmakers developed the characters, making the viewer hate these people enough to feel that their deaths are in some weird way acceptable. Speaking of which, they really spared no punches when it came to the deaths, some of which are pretty graphic, while others, a little iffy (stabbing someone with a knife in their mouth), but interesting none-the-less. The beheading scene was exceptionally graphic, not simply because of what was shown, but because of the sound effects that accompanied it.

Bedevilled isn't for everyone -- it's a drama for a majority of the running time, giving us proper development of these characters and enough reason for the viewer to want them to die. Once the killing happens, it does so in a pretty straight-forward and sometimes raw and graphic way. All of which makes this movie an exceptional piece of revenge cinema. Give this a check if you want a strong character-driven flick that tests the boundaries of how much mental and physical torture a person can stand before cracking.

Posted on April 10, 2011 - 5:27pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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