Amongst the heady line-up of Korean summer horrors, Shin Tae Ra’s grisly psychological thriller Black House has emerged as the critical and box office winner of 2007. Shin previously directed the low-budget sci-fi Brainwave in 2005, but the scope for his new title is greater, as it is co-produced by Japanese filmhouse Kadokawa Pictures and will be seeing a wide theatrical release in Japan. Delving into the investigation of a psychotic killer, the film is based on popular Japanese writer Kishi Yusuke’s novel, which was previously adapted for the big screen in 1999 by Morita Yoshimitsu. Featuring top-notch production design and photography, Black House is a stylish, spine-tingling exercise in modern gore and goth that goes straight for the root of fear. Acclaimed actor Hwang Jung Min (You Are My Sunshine) underacts to great effect, creating a remarkably restrained character opposite the chilling performances of Kang Shin Il (Hanbando) and Yu Seon (The Wig).
When insurance investigator Jeon Jun Oh (Hwang Jeong Min) arrives at the scene of his latest case, a run-down house in the middle of nowhere, he is greeted with the sight of a little boy hanging from the ceiling. The child’s father, Park Chung Bae (Kang Shin Il), is jumpy, shifty, and eager for insurance compensation, while frail, grieving mother Shin Yi Hwa (Yu Seon) bears signs of physical abuse on her body. The police close the case as suicide, but Jeon suspects Park of foul play and fears that his wife may be the next target. Projecting his own troubled past into the case, Jeon wants to heÂlp Shin escape from danger, but soon discovers the shocking repercussions of digging too deep.
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