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)
The Chaser has been reviewed by 2 users
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Content updated: 13/12/2017 01:45

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