Blood Rain

2005 [KOREAN]

Mystery / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1036

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 22, 2020 at 08:30 PM

Director

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720p.WEB
1.07 GB
1280*554
Korean 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 59 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pb104-1 10 / 10

An extraordinary thriller

Also known as "Blood Rain," this Korean murder mystery is one of the most powerful and dramatic costume dramas I have ever seen. Taking place in the Chosun Dynasty (which looks like the late 1700s although no date is specified), it concerns an isolated island which prospers due to its famous paper factory which exports fine papers throughout the region. When a ship loaded with top grade paper as a tribute to the mainland ruler burns in the harbor, an official is dispatched from the Court to investigate. What he encounters is a string of increasingly gruesome murders and a town beginning to panic, believing that an angry spirit is causing the deaths. But there are wheels within wheels, and the execution of the mill owner years before may be related to the murders. And there are other secrets deeply hidden in the town's past as well. With stunning production values, fine acting and relentless pacing, Blood Rain is a mesmerizing thriller, a mystery that continually deepens as the story progresses. Fast-paced and exciting, it develops a dynamic power rarely equaled in cinema. Korean dramas are known for intensity and this film is no exception. Some violent scenes may upset the squeamish, but they are essential to the story and by no means gratuitous. Hopefully this powerful film will secure an American release. 10/10

Reviewed by refresh_daemon 7 / 10

Enjoyable period murder mystery

Blood Rain is director Kim Daeseung's second feature, a serial killer/murder mystery set on an island in 1808 Corea. Keeping some of the director's trademarks (flashbacks and strong photography), the film tells a tale about collective guilt and vengeance while drawing you in with its sometimes gruesome flash and well told mystery.

The story starts on an island in early 19th century Corea, where an arson is suspected, drawing a group of mainland government investigators to solve the mystery. But then a murder happens and the investigator gets drawn into the mystery of what happened on that island in the living past all while trying to catch the criminal and keep the populace alive and at peace.

The story is well spun and the reveal at the end (it's a mystery after all) comes as a surprise, although I suppose if I were far more attentive, I would have caught it before the reveal, which is a great hallmark of mysteries. The nice thing is that the flashbacks are used more towards filling in character and thematic elements rather than as a "gotcha!" for the most part, so it doesn't feel too gratuitous. As a suspense/mystery, the story is engaging and entertaining. The only issue I take is with a supernatural element in the film--while it's woven much better into this film than into Shadows in the Palace--the supernatural element still feels extraneous: it's not at all necessary for the tale to work well, especially as a device to tie some other strands of the story together.

The picture is well composed and I have to say that I was quite struck by the costumes and art surrounding the period element of the film. While the film does show some rather brutal deaths, I can still say that the photography was, on the whole, still something for the eyes to see. The performances were all well rendered, the sound and music contribute and the production values are very solid. I remember watching this in the theater in Corea and while I had some problems understanding what was going on (some of the more formal dialect of Corean, I haven't yet mastered), I could say that I wasn't bored at all.

One thing that I really liked about this film is that it was really easy to understand the antagonist, while still knowing that what he was doing (murder) was wrong and how the film doesn't at all make this seem contrived. Blood Rain is a fairly solid murder mystery/suspense piece and the period setting really adds a lot to the film. If you can ingest or ignore the supernatural element of the film, you'll find a rather entertaining ride of a film here. 8/10.

Reviewed by Schwenkstar 7 / 10

A cleverly constructed murder mystery, amplified by a unique setting: 1808 Korea

This period murder mystery is very reminiscent of the Sean Connery film "The Name of the Rose", which was also a period murder mystery. That film's quality, though flawed, was immensely amplified by its locale (a monastery in medieval Europe) which is indeed a rare setting for the mystery genre. In this film, we find a similar circumstance: a good but flawed mystery that is greatly aided by its thoroughly original surroundings (in this case, 1808 Korea).

The mystery itself is, on the whole, cleverly constructed. The film opens with a series of incidences that seem, at first, to be unrelated to one another. However, as the story progresses, it is revealed that these events are outgrowths of one another.

The plot is also very devious in manipulating the audience, leading the viewer to believe one thing, only to subvert that assumption and reveal what is truly occurring. These red herrings does not cheat the viewer since they are entirely logical and, upon a second viewing, completely obvious if one only watched the scenes in the correct frame of mind. Indeed, the cleverness of the plot is what hooks the viewer and keeps him watching.

Yet all the threads do not tie together as effectively as they could; indeed, the narrative's last events is where the film stumbles. Here, the plot begins to introduce too many new elements, which only complicates and confuses the narrative rather than layer it with complexity. In addition, the film's final revelation, though not obvious, is a small disappointment due to the plot not effectively building upon the killer's character, and thus seems slightly random. It is only after the revelation that his motivations and background is explained.

*Very slight spoiler in the next statement*

Another major debit is the introduction of a supernatural element at the film's denouement that is out of tone with the rest of the film. This element appeared to be haphazard in its inclusion, since the rest of the narrative doesn't really support this event. If this small scene simply was omitted, the film would have ended on a much satisfactory note.

*End of spoiler*

Regardless, the film was very good overall, thanks to a stellar first hour that really envelops the audience in its mystery and genuinely surprises the viewer with each revelation.

And one cannot ignore its totally unique setting. Never have I seen a film that focused on such a time period in Korea, nor have I seen a film that presented the manufacturing of paper in such detail. All these touches really add an air of originality to the proceedings, perhaps presenting the film better than it really is. Luckily, this lush locale is reinforced by an intelligent script that, though imperfect, manages to integrate the elements of the period brilliantly into its story.

Essential to those who love period mysteries and a high recommendation to those interested in the mystery genre as a whole. To everyone else, a solid rental.

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