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MISSING
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Reviewed by: Dave Murray

Directed by: Sung-Hong Kim

Starring:
Se-hong Jeon
Ja-Hyeon Chu
Seong-kun Mun

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Based on a true murder spree in South Korea, Missing tells the story of an elderly chicken farmer who abducts a young actress, keeping her in his barn for some torture, rape and some unspeakable things involving cake icing. When the girl's sister comes looking for her, without the help of the idiot local cops, old chicken man goes nuts and the flick gets bloody from there!
Is it good movie?
It was just an okay movie. It was well shot, had a small amount of tension in the right places, the actors were pretty good and the gore was good as well. The main problem was that as far as torture slashers go, we've all seen this many times before. The scenes where the farmer is torturing the young girl (seriously, what a way to turn a fat guy off of cake icing!) were intense and uncomfortable, but aside from a Fargo-esque moment involving a chicken feed grinder (and the poor young actress inside of it), the kills and gore were pretty run of the mill. It was very well done gore, just nothing new.

While the two female leads were attractive and engaging, it's really the chicken farmer played by Seong-kun Mun who really shines here. He's demented and cruel, especially in the final scenes when he's captured the older sister, telling her that her sibling was laying in the giant meat chipper alive while she was searching the property with the one cop who would believe her. It's moments of horror like this that make me think that the movie could have been so much more than a generic serial killer flick. Sadly, the movie is just that - generic.

Combining elements of exploitation kidnapping films and the serial killer slasher genre, this movie makes me feel like I've seen it before. Probably because both kinds of film have been done with better results, even in South Korea (The Housemaid and The Chaser come to mind). While Missing is a well made and gory tale, it all seems a little ho-hum in a genre, and a local film making tradition, that has already pushed through further and loftier boundaries. The exploitation angle works like a charm, and the kidnapper is creepy and sadistic, but the slasher feel of the third act just feels a bit too much, almost as if the movie is trying too hard to cram more high brow horror into it's narrow frame.

It's a bit of a shame really. I love both genres of film that this was trying to be. Unfortunately I found myself only mildly entertained.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic widescreen - 1.88:1. The movie looked great, especially for a Region 2 release. Cine Asia does do an awesome job.

Audio: Korean Dolby 5.1 Surround with English subtitles.
The Extras
There are both a Teaser and a Trailer for the film, as well as a bunch of other trailers that led me to some awesome movies I didn't know were released, including the Pang Brothers amazing Storm Warriors, a new Chinese historical telling of Mulan, and a new release of the Jet Li classic Tai Chi Master! Awesome!
Last Call
While clever and well made, this combining of slasher and kidnapper flicks ultimately comes off as generic, trading familiar territory despite some novel concepts and a few nasty kills. If you're a fan of South Korean horror, there is better fare out there, but the feed chipper scene alone could be enough to get you to watch this one. As is the follow up shot of our farmer feeding young nubile girl chum to his chickens. Yummy! But unfortunate, there's not much else here to get excited about, which sucks because I wanted this movie to kick ass. Instead, it's just a rental at best.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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