With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, February 15, 2020

THE CLOSET reviewed; currently playing at two Californa venues

capelight pictures
The Closet
Written and directed by KIM Kwang-bin
Starring HA Jung-woo, KIM Nam-gil and HEO Yul
South Korea, 2020, 97 minutes

The South Korean supernatural thriller The Closet, director KIM Kwang-bin's feature film debut, opened yesterday, February 14th, at CGV Los Angeles and CGV Buena Park. My review is based on watching an online screener.

YEON Sang-won (HA Jung-woo) is an architect and a widower with an eleven-year-old daughter, Ina (HEO Yul). His wife died in a tragic accident and since then YEON has been prone to panic attacks. While working on a museum, he and Ina move into a new house at some distance from the work site. The situation is complicated by their strained relationship and Sang-won's inability to secure a nanny for his daughter. Not to mention the strange noises that begin to trickle out of a closet and Ina beginning to exhibit increasingly weird behaviors.

Worst of all is Ina's sudden disappearance without a trace. Fortunately for YEON, a self proclaimed "exorcist hero" named HEO Kyung-hoon (KIM Nam-gil) appears on the scene.Turns out that thirty-two children have similarly disappeared over the previous twenty-or-so years. The parents of one of them, a girl named Hyun-soo, had set up a ritual performed to determine if the child was dead. HEO's mother performed the ritual and died during it, and he has been trying to solve the mysteries of the disappearances for the last ten years.

Initially skeptical, YEON decides to enlist HEO's assistance in trying to locate his missing daughter, before it's too late.

The film is well paced and has some nice "scare moments." I'm not a big fan of this particular genre, but I definitely enjoyed watching The Closet.

I must mention that there is a cute tongue-in-cheek reference made to the Along with the Gods films (Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds and Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days); HA Jung-woo starred in both films.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; a good, solid supernatural thriller.

The Closet is produced by CJ Entertainment (Parasite) and distributed by capelight pictures.

Watch the official movie trailer here.

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