“The Chaser” (추격자; Chugyeogja) is a Korean movie which won multiple awards at the Daejong Film Festival in 2008. I watched the movie shortly after the film fest, and I think their wins are quite justified… it’s simply a great movie.
The Chaser is directed by Na Hong-jin and starred Kim Yoon-suk, Ha Jung-woo and Seo Yeong-hee etc. The movie is said to be based on a real serial killer, Yoo Young-chul, who murdered 20 person in 2003/2004. While the background of the story seems similar, the storyline itself is pretty much independent from the real incident…
The Chaser synopsis
The story revolves an ex-cop turn pimp who tries to save a friend/employee from a serial killer while time is running out.
Jung-ho (Kim Yoon-suk) is a pimp who was hunting for his disappearing girls, which he thought to be stolen/hired by other syndicates. He sent Mi-jin (Seo Yeong-hee) to trap a customer which he thought is working against him, because his last two girls have been missing since serving this guy.
Jung-ho however lost contact with Mi-jin after the customer brought her into a house; and it’s soon revealed that the customer is a serial killer (Ha Jung-woo)…
I will leave the rest as it is to avoid spoilers. The plot is quite different than most other suspense movies, as the killer is revealed pretty early… but yet, the movie is full of twists and surprises. Suspense is not the only selling point though, it’s a bit horrifying, a bit provocative, a bit sad, a bit warmth and overall a nice film.
The only downside I can think of is that the movie is a bit long… a full two hours. It could be better if they cut off a few scenes, just to make the movie more compact. Regardless, it’s a great movie worth recommending.
It’s reported that Warner Bros has acquired the remake rights, with Leornado DiCaprio in mind to play one of the lead roles (would love to see him playing the killer). If they can make it at least as decent at the originals, it’s almost guaranteed to be a big hit next summer.