In 1808, at a paper mill on the remote island of Dong-hwa, a mysterious fire destroys a docked cargo ship. A team of investigators led by Lee Won-Kyu (Seung-won Cha) arrives to solve the case. The next day, a mill worker is found brutally slain – escalating Lee’s investigation from arson to murder. But the gruesome killings don’t stop there…
• Director Dae-seung Kim delivers Blood Rain with all the scope of a big-budget epic and the effectiveness of a modern-day Hollywood crime thriller.
• Seung-won Cha is powerful as Kyu, the methodical, emotionless investigator. Much like a modern-day movie cop, he does his job by the book – but when pushed to his limits, he’s not above beating information out of a suspect.
• The sweeping score by Yeong-wook Jo and Ji-soo Lee is worthy of any major epic the Western world has produced.
• A couple nits: The last act takes a bit longer than expected, and flashbacks are woven too seamlessly into the present storyline, making it disjarring at times. Also, the ending loses points for throwing a supernatural element into what had been a story largely grounded in reality.
Blood Rain opened in its native Korea in 2006, but Pathfinder Pictures just released it on DVD in the US last month. If you enjoy crime thrillers and can tolerate a large dose of bloodletting, it’s worth seeking out. (View the trailer here.)
Korean, with subtitles.
Blood Rain is a period piece, in a foreign language, with subtitles, should be enough to lose your kids’ interest – which is fine, because its graphic violence should not be viewed by children. People are impaled, boiled alive, suffocated, have their heads crushed, and are dismembered. Oh, and a few chickens have their heads cut off (ba-GOK!).
Will your FilmMother want to watch it?The violence may be off-putting to her, and if she’s not a fan of subtitles, there’s two strikes right there. I’m feeling this is one to watch on your own.
• Director: Dae-seung Kim
• Screenwriters: Seong-jae Kim, Won-jae Lee
• Stars: Cha Seung-won, Park Yong-woo, Ji Seong, Choi Ji-na, Oh Hyeon-kyeong
• MPAA Rating: N/A (graphic violence, gore)
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