by Mike Peredo
Soon-Young, a pregnant teenager, is traveling home to her mother when there’s a blinding flash in the sky. Her cab is stranded on a deserted country road and the cell phones fizzle out. The other passenger is a freeloading psychic who saw it all coming. He knows enough about her and the driver to be creepy. He reassures them with predictions like “The angels will descend… white with huge fangs and claws.” But her troubles have barely started. Ignoring advice from the belligerent psychic, she sets out on her own for the distant rest stop and the promise of a telephone. Devious strangers await.
New director Jo Sung-Hee makes good use of dialogue and saves a bundle on sets. Shot mainly on a country road with a bit of forest, this apocalyptic Blair Witch Project reminds us that we don’t need mutants and explosions to create a believable scenario.
One long memorable shot has Soon-Young slow talking her would-be abductor while the dusk creeps into darkness. A lovely bit of editing delicately frames a doggy for dinner. Even so, there are a number of missed opportunities to crank up the tension. See this for some pointers before you make your next backyard horror movie.
End of Animal (Jimseung Ui Kkut)
South Korea, 2010
Directed by Jo Sung-Hee