The Chaser (2008)

Genre: Thriller

Cast: Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jung-woo, Seo Young-hee

Synopsis: In this tense and gory thriller a pimp is on the hunt for one of his missing prostitutes who has been kidnapped by a serial killer. This film is NOT about chubby chasers, although part of me wishes that it was.

When my brother told me what this film was about I initially thought it was a comedy. A pimp on the hunt for a missing hooker who has been kidnapped by a serial killer. Sounded like a riot. As such, when I was watching this movie I kept thinking to myself, when’s the comedy going to kick in? Instead it just got bleaker and bleaker until I had to accept that this movie had no comedy in it. The only time I got in a giggle was when a character kept mentioning Anyang City and I kept responding with ‘annyong’…fans of Arrested Development will understand.

Whilst this movie definitely lacks a comedic aspect it certainly has a horror aspect. Numerous times throughout the movie you will say to yourself ‘aaw man that’s fucked up’ or ‘oh shit that’s gross.’ In a way, it’s kind of like the Korean Audition but the difference with this movie is that it kind of haunted me in a really horrible way. I was able to disconnect from Audition and, while that was extremely fucked up too, The Chaser stayed with me for some reason and gave me nightmares. I don’t know why it upset me so much. Maybe it was the weed. Either way, the fact that it managed to affect me in such a way must really say a lot about the quality of the film. I can watch horror movies on my own and in the dark without batting an eyelid because I can find something to latch on to in order to make it seem unrealistic. This film was a little too realistic and it was difficult to explain away what I was seeing on screen.

The believability is greatly heightened by the performances given by the film’s three leading actors. Each brings something special to their roles and it’s easy to become emotionally attached to them and invested in their personal stories. Beyond the acting, the film has a very detailed plot with some very tense moments. The chase scenes are also really good. At times, however, it felt as though the gore was simply too much and it kind of spoiled the movie. On top of that the movie is really depressing, so much so in fact that as soon as this movie ended I had to go and have a Disney soundtrack marathon to try and cheer myself up. I’m still taking part in that marathon. ‘What I love most about rivers is you can’t step in the same river twice…’

High-lights:

  • Annyong!
  • Very tense and atmospheric.
  • Great performances.

Downers:

  • A little too creepy for my tastes.
  • Bleak as hell. Is this what prostitution is really like?

Summary:

The Chaser is a good movie and it definitely does what it’s supposed to. It all just depends on whether or not you can handle it; I couldn’t. I wouldn’t suggest watching this after a smoking session because it could really mess you up. If you can withstand all the horror then you’re a stronger person than I am.

6.5/10

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2 Comments

Filed under Good, Thriller

2 responses to “The Chaser (2008)

  1. Nice! I’ve got this one in the Netflix queue, will be kicking it higher up.
    And now that you have a Chubby Chaser tag, you’ve gotta find more stuff to use it on. That rules.

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