Reviewed By-Steve Genier
Directed By-Lee Jong Hyuk
Cast-Yeom Jung Ah, Cho Seung Woo and Sung Ji Ru.
Source-Cinexus REGION ALL NTSC DVD
Runtime-106mins/154mins with extras
Serial killer Shin Hyun is at the end of his killing spree, 5 women brutally butchered, he walks into a police station with his sixth and final victim hacked up in a garbage bag. One year later, another set of murders resembles that of Shin Hyun's handy work has Detective Kang and Detective Mi-yeon seeking answers. They visit Hyun in prison hoping for answers as to who the killer possibly is, what they end up getting is nothing but riddles. One by the victims fall in place as it were a badly replayed nightmare. Then a break, leads have them track down Shin Hyum's ex-cellmate. Chasing him into a techno-bar, Detective Kang locates him in the center of the dance floor holding a knife to a young girl's throat and without hesitation, slices it in the middle of several onlookers. Kang then shots the psycho putting him in the hospital. Thus, the murders don't stop, they continue leaving both Kang and Mi-yeon clueless as to who is doing the copycatting. Again they seek out Hyun's advice as to who it maybe, and again all they receive is riddles, but the is time something more deadly has pasted, a signal and the most important clue to unlock the mystery.
From the beginning scenes in the garbage dump, the dark and depressing atmospheric draw to H has you drawn into this surreal nightmare. Grotesque killing scenes will have those weak in the stomach turning away or feeling very faint instantly. There's no holding back in this film, although listed as a thriller, gore pushes it that one step further. One scene in particular where a young female is riding the bus, the camera pans over to look out the bus window causing passage of time. When finished, the camera then pans over to the front of the bus and onto the driver who has just finished his route. He notices that there's a passenger sitting in one of the seats. He yells, "This is the last stop!", there is no response from the passenger. The driver then proceeds to find out what the problem is. As he approaches the young female, the camera centers on the drivers facial expression, one that quickly turns to horror. As the end results are shown when the camera pans down to the young female who has had her stomach cut right open. That young women just happens to be pregnant, and that one step closer, the gore about the whole scene is seeing the baby's foot hanging out from the wound. This scene literally had me turning my head, not because I couldn't of handled the gore, it was the situation that got to me. Thinking of a young women sliced to pieces and being pregnant. That all set aside, the amount of gore isn't out of wack, it is used quite often yes, but spaced out and not scene to scene. This isn't a balls out horror film, the story and pace of the film gives you that SEVEN feel to it. So it plays out much more like a thriller.
The story that is lead out is like that of the puzzle lead out for the two detectives. You the viewer are put into their shoes trying to figure out who is killing these innocent women. Piece by piece evidence is lead out, giving you the answer, but underneath you nose until the very end. An end that twists it's way through your brain, time to sit down and watch it over again, not because you didn't get it the first time, but because those pieces of that puzzle you solved are so attractive. So attractive that you have to watch this film more them once, it's becomes an addiction of sorts, like a book you can't put down. H is very much like that new drug of choice, but hey just think, it's legal and no worries to your health!
The three main characters or should I say three main actors display a great feel for each other, almost as if they have been working on a television show for many years. Again this is displayed in the "Making of" extra on the dvd, where they seem to be having alot of fun during production of H. Although it seems that YEOM Jung-a who plays Detective Mi-yeon was having a hard time with many aspects of preparing for this film. Several times during the behind the scene she is either crying or very afraid of performing certain stunts etc. This is pretty much non-existent during the film though as her character is very much the opposite in nature. She is the negative force combating the two positive forces emulated by Detective Kang and Detective Park (SUNG, Ji-ru), who I might add, adds a certain comic relief to a few scenes.
Director Lee Jong Hyuk paints a very bleak picture with H, one that seems very surreal with the amount of shades and tints that are used during the filming. Again this is propped up by the score as well, very soothing and quite serine in tone. His cinematographer Peter Gray has a long list of achievements with the helming the camera work on projects of the surreal, over 30 years to be exact. It seems very odd that a Korean filmmaker would employ an Australian cinematographer, but non-the less it works out quite well.
On the dvd besides the film itself which runs for about 106 minutes, there is a whole slew of goodies, sadly though most are in Korean without any English options. Don't let that stop you though, for it is still very fun watching the "MAKING OF" even if there's no English, you can still pretty much figure out what's going on. Accompanying the "MAKING OF" there's also a teaser trailer, theatrical trailer, bios on cast and crew. Also there another opening sequence, and photo gallery. This disc is a NTSC REGION ALL and it presented in anomorphic wide screen with an aspect ratio of 2.35.1. It's audio has two options either Dobly Digital 2.0 or 5.1, subtitles include Korean or English.