The Chaser (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/08/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 123 mins

Atmospheric, pacy and extremely dark, this is a gripping thriller with elements of David Fincher.

What's it all about?
Directed by Hong-jin Na, The Chaser stars Yun-suk Kim as Jung-ho, a disgraced ex-cop who has turned his hand to pimping and now runs a stable of girls in Seoul's red-light district. When his escorts keep disappearing, Jung-ho suspects the worst, unaware that he has just sent his best girl (Yeong-hee Seo as Mi-jin) straight into the hands of creepy serial killer Young-min (Jung-woo Ha).

When he realises his mistake, Jung-ho tracks down the killer, but Mi-jin is nowhere to be seen. Worse, the police can't hold Young-min without evidence (despite his confession), so Jung-ho frantically searches for Mi-jin – not knowing whether she's alive or dead - before the police are forced to release the killer.

The Good
Hong-jin Na's superb direction ensures that the film is incredibly suspenseful on a number of different levels, juggling the race-against-time element with the more Hitchcockian cat-and-mouse game being played out at the police station. The fact that the majority of Jung-ho's ex-colleagues think that he himself is actually the killer only adds to the sweaty tension of the film.

The performances are superb – Yun-suk Kim makes an intriguing and complex anti-hero, while Jung-woo Ha is perfect as the too-good-to-be-true sociopath. There's also strong support from Yeong-hee Seo and from In-gi Jung, Hyo-ju Park as Jung-ho's former colleagues.

The Great
Hing-jin Na maintains an extremely effective atmosphere throughout – the constant rain is enough to remind the viewer of David Fincher's Se7en, even before the plot unfolds. He also orchestrates a number of terrific sequences, while the finale cranks up the tension to almost unbearable levels.

Worth seeing?
The Chaser is a superbly directed, throughly gripping and shockingly dark thriller that's well worth seeing before the inevitable (and already planned) Hollywood remake screws up the ending.

Film Trailer

The Chaser (18)
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Content updated: 23/09/2018 01:50

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