The Silenced, 2015
dir. Hae-young Lee
Like Angel Heart, it turns out this isn’t really a horror film. I liked it a lot though! It’s very suspenseful and tense.
I’ve been reading a lot about Japanese warfare during WWII, and this film falls right into that category. It’s set in a Japanese military base near Seoul, where they experiment to create super-soldiers. The brutality of it, and the remorselessness seems very accurate to me from what I’ve read of the ruthlessness of the Japanese military at the time, which I think added the layer of true horror. The horrific things war does to people.
Aside from that, the film is absolutely gorgeous. It’s lit beautifully, and the set pieces are very intricate and detailed. I loved how the embroidery paid off at the end. It was gruesome and beautiful all at once.
Overall, I really enjoyed watching this film. It was compelling throughout, but unfortunately it wasn’t particularly scary, nor did it have much true horror in it. It’s not a great Halloween watch, but if you’re ever looking for a good Korean-Japanese film to watch, this is the one.