Spoilers would move to a new place.
Okey, it’s my fault. I did have a preconceived notion of what this movie was and I got my hopes up. It is, a comedy thriller and it does have a lot of entertainment value. I was expecting something additional, but that’s on me. Audiences looking for fun will be pleased. The suspense and the comedy in tune, the laughs helping break the tension. It’s not forced and it happens organically.
NEXT DOOR (2021) is written and directed by Yeom Ji-ho. Chan-woo (Oh Dong-min) has failed the test to join the police force four times and he’s trying to give it all a 5th time. Unfortunately, he’s got noisy neighbours and no money. After going out drinking the very night before the test, he ends waking up next to a dead body.
I have to say the ratio of comedy versus suspense is really symbiotic. Breaking the tension is Oh Dong-min’s performance as a clumsy underdog. He’s not particularly good in a fight, doesn’t have the smarts and he’s not really brave at all. We’re more than ready to cheer for him when he ends up to his neck into a murder scene. Now this is the part where I don’t want to give it away, but I was expecting a convoluted whodunit for our clumsy policy-wannabe to solve – and that’s not what we get. He does start with what seems to be an application of what he has learned but I don’t think the payoff is satisfying.
Recommended with reservations. It does mesh both a thriller and a comedy seamlessly, but I wish the ending would have more of a satisfying payoff. It’s not that I was frustrated with where it finishes, but that it never allows Chan-woo to actually apply his talents to a conclusion. The ending does seem to leave something unresolved on purpose, but the wrap up is more of an accident. Worth a watch for both the thrill and the comedy, but don’t expect a mystery to solve.
That will do for now.