[Review film] “The Cursed”, shamanism in Seoul – K.OWLS

Released in July 2021 on Korean screens, The Cursed is available on DVD and Blu-ray in France since October 5, 2022 for a sequel to a big show.

Presentation of The Cursed

Synopsis of The Cursed

Im Jin Hee releases a book where she tells the story of her occult investigations in the hope of winning back the public, while the only person who could attest to the veracity of these, Baek So Jin, has vanished. One day, the fallen journalist is contacted to make a interview of a man in distress. Before being reduced to ashes, facing the camera, he reveals that in the next few days, three personalities linked to a pharmaceutical laboratory will die. A race against the occult clock begins.

Official movie trailer The Cursed French subtitles distributed by The Jokers

DVD and Blu-ray covers of the film The Cursed distributed in France by The Jokers. On sale from October 5, 2022

Team and characters of The Cursed

Just like the drama The Cursed (2020) available on netflix, Kim Yong Wan and Yeon Sang Ho worked hand in hand: the former directing, the latter writing. Master of Horror Yeon Sang Ho (Last train to Busan 2016, Peninsula 2020, Hellbound 2021, Monstrous 2022) continues his exploration of the universe of shamanism and the occult, while raising themes that are dear to him such as the power of the media.

The main actors and actresses of The Cursed (2020) are back in this movie set a few years later. Uhm Ji Won once again takes on the role of Im Jin Hee, the reporter is still true to herself, although we feel she is lost without the character of Baek So Jin, played by Jung Ji So. Jung Moon Sung and Kim In Kwon are also back.

As for the new faces, we retain the excellent Lee Seol (When the Devil Calls Your Name 2019, One Ordinary Day 2021) in the role of Jessie, an enigmatic character who is revealed as the plot unfolds. Oh Yoon Ah, meanwhile, delivers a flawless performance as an unsympathetic and cruel wealthy heiress. What a pleasure to find these great figures of the South Korean audiovisual landscape that are Jeon Gook Hwan, Kwon Hae Hyo and Jung Jae Sung.

Horror thriller and shamanism in the heart of Seoul

A film that gives pride of place to the great spectacle

The strength of The Cursed resides in his visual and staging findings. Quite light in horror, the film remains faithful to the format of the thriller Korean: the atmosphere is dark, the image licked. The viewer takes a guilty pleasure in enjoying this great spectacle, rhythmic, which takes place on the screen. We will particularly remember the taxi chase sequence of which we would like to know the secrets of filming. The undead made of clay offer a grandiose and nervous ballet of horror against mortals overwhelmed by events, in the manner of Hellbound.

An unsurprising but effective scenario

The Cursed is in line with films denouncing the practices and powers of pharmaceutical laboratories. Quickly, the characters discover the extent of the horror that certain illegal clinical trials can do to a marginalized population. Certainly with big strings, The Cursed has the merit of showing and denouncing known practices whose instigators are never worried by justice. Here, the curse causes a Damocles sword to hang over their heads. Only repentance or death awaits them. Behind its grand spectacle movie airs, The Cursed thus offers a brutal critique of Korean society and reveals, without detour, the cruelty of the wealthiest.

Dive into shamanism

The most interesting element of The Cursed lies in his exploration of shamanism. While the drama was more interested in Korean spirits and demons, the film opts for a curse from Southeast Asia, more precisely from Indonesia. By linking this dimension to the screenplay, this allows us to dig ever deeper into this theme of shamanism, of the relationship to the occult, while offering innovative visuals for any viewer of Korean dramas or films. From the undead of clay to the staging of esoteric ritual, the appreciation is total.

My opinion on The Cursed

Without pretention, The Cursed is a good entertainment film, effective in its staging and photography, which counterbalance an expected script. Quite innovative elements such as a dive into Indonesian shamanism give it an interesting dimension.

The Cursed is overall a film in search of itself. He tries to emancipate himself from his character immediately, without really succeeding. Even though I had seen the drama released in 2020, I wondered if someone who hadn’t seen it could understand the film. And the response is mixed. In my opinion, it is better to see the series before viewing the film to understand all its dimensions, but it is not essential either.

Sources: MyDramaList | Hancinema

Thanks : The Jokers

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[Review film] “The Cursed”, shamanism in Seoul – K.OWLS

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