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Archive for the ‘Memories of Murder’ Category

Memories of Murder – review – Film Comment #84

Film Comment – #84 – Memories of Murder –¬†Boong Joon-ho – 2003


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This is easily, so far, the best movie on this list that I have not seen, and I highly recommend checking this out.
Boong Joon-ho gained notoriety for his film “The Host”, which is also on this list, and was also highly entertaining. This is his first film though, and is a smart, intense, and quite funny at times, thriller. It revolves around the the first serial killer in South Korea, in the 1980’s, and a group of detectives that are attempting to track him down.

The film begins with a woman found raped, and gagged in a field. The local law enforcement is called in, and frankly botches the crime scene up, almost immediately. The fact is they’ve never dealt with something like this, and they are not really sure how to proceed with the case. Soon another murder pops up, in the same fashion, and the detectives begin to scramble.

They follow lead after lead, and are desperate to pin the murder on someone. They take the smallest leads and roll with them, even the idea that the man has no pubic hair, so in a bit of comedy, one of the detectives starts attending the bath houses around town staring at all the men, searching for the murderer. They believe a mentally retarded man is responsible so they interrogate him and coerce him into confessing, but he is not the man, and now the media is paying attention to them very closely. The stress of the case begins to pile on. Soon a detective from Seoul, who has more knowledge of murder cases, is brought in to help. He immediately sees the error of the local police forces ways, but as the case drags on, even he is at his wits end in finding the killer, and fast.

“Memories of Murder” is really one of the better ‘true story’, murder mysteries I’ve seen. Like “The Host” it does run a dad bit too long, but the pacing of the film is frantic, so it doesn’t effect it too much. Definitely check this one out.

Grade: A