This one left me breathless. It’s both enticing and frustrating, balancing a resourceful and resistant woman refusing to become a victim and an entitled and privileged killer that has learned how to evade trouble at every turn and still satisfy his thirst for killing. Since the moment that the hunt is on, we get no breaks and this one is a true test of patience as bystanders, neighbours and policemen seem to be no help whatsoever. This one is a top notch thriller not to be missed.
Midnight (2021) is written and directed by Kwon Oh-seung. Kyung-Mi (Jin Ki-joo) is a very lively and top worker at a call center where she assists the hard of hearing through video chat, being deaf herself. She and her mother (Kil Hae-yeon), who is also hearing impaired, know to make the best of their lives. One unfortunate night, they cross paths with a crafty psychopath killer, Do-sik (Wi Ha-jun), who has already stabbed a young girl named So-jung (Kim Hey-yoon). Now they must try to steer clear of a murderer that changes wardrobe, easily fools the police and has even managed to outsmart So-jung’s brother, Jong Tak (Park Hoon).
This one has a lot to unpack, but it’s rather all crafted into the story. Kyung-Mi and her mother are at obvious disadvantage, but don’t count them out. Do-sik may seem to have the upper hand all the time, using a minivan with clothes to change and seem respectable when he needs to, as well as a variety of stabbing utensils. However, the other engaging character here, so well executed that is the sound design. The film expertly mutes the sound from the point of view of Kyung-Mi and returns it back when the killer is chasing her. It’s so seamless you barely feel the change and it feels almost natural, startling us when we turn to find the murdering Do-sik staring back around the corner.
Strongly recommended. This one will scare, shock and thrill you from the moment the chase starts. The performances of Jin Ki-joo as the unstoppable Kyung-Mi and Wi Ha-jun as the extremely despicable Do-sik are top notch. The chases are a dextrous exercise of camera work, editing and the ingenious sound design that puts you right there in the chase. Definitely worth a watch.
That will do for now.