• Bedevilled



    Released by: Well Go USA
    Released on: October 9, 2012.
    Director: Chul-soo Jang
    Cast: Seong-won Ji, Yeong-hie Seo, Park Jeong-hak, Bae Seong-woo
    Year: 2010
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Chul-soo Jang, 2010’s Bedevilled introduces us to a woman named Hae-won (Seong-won Ji), a very pretty lady who works at a bank and who basically mistreats everyone around her like they’re beneath here. She is, in short, a complete bitch. On top of this, she witnessed a crime and has been asked to identify those she knows are guilty – but isn’t interested in cooperating. When this comes back to bite her and her boss suspends her, instructing her to ‘take a vacation,’ she boards a boat and travels to the remote Moo-do Island where she spent a lot of her childhood. Her grandfather owned property there and she figures it’s the right sort of spot to unwind and not have to deal with her problems.

    She arrives and finds that the scarcely populated island has gone through some changes since she last set foot on it. There are only two capable men there, Man-jong (Park Jeong-hak) and his brother (Bae Seong-woo), and they more or less do what they want to, enabled by their aunt, an older lady who tells Man-jong’s wife, Bok-nam (Yeong-hie Seo), that ‘women are happiest with a dick in their mouths.’ Given that Bok-nam and Hae-won were childhood friends, you’d figure the two would catch up and reminisce about old times and to an extent they do, but Bok-nam has to put up with no end of abuses at the hands of her husband, the aunt, and pretty much everyone else on the island. When she finds out that Man-jong has been molesting her daughter, she starts to unravel but as one thing leads to another, more and more hardship befalls her until, after ‘talking to the sun,’ she completely snaps.

    A remarkably grim film that makes no qualms whatsoever about taking the audience into some seriously dark territory, Bedevilled is not for the faint of heart. While it’s hardly the stalk and slash picture that the cover art might mislead you into believing it is, the movie does absolutely reach a violent and graphic conclusion. What’s harder to watch than that, however, is the build up to that conclusion. What Bok-nam is put through is such a constant living Hell that when she finally does snap, it’s almost as therapeutic for the audience as it is for the character. As such, the first two thirds of the movie are somewhat of an endurance test, a barrage of atrocities committed against this poor woman not just by her husband but by pretty much everyone else on the island both by their actions and their inactions.

    Shot with a fairly ‘hot’ look to it, the movie is visually impressive with some nice shots that capture the scenic beauty of the island, which contrast in interesting ways with the intense depravity that occurs in the setting. The film doesn’t move at the fastest of paces and might not necessarily hold the attention of those wanting their horror movies to move at light speed but stick with this one, it goes in directions both obvious and simultaneously unexpected and features some pretty remarkable performances from every one of the key cast members.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Framed at 2.35.1 widescreen the AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on Well Go USA’s Blu-ray looks good until the lights go off. Darker scenes show banding and frequent compression artifacts. When the film takes place outside and in daylight, however, it looks very good and sports strong detail and texture. Some scenes appear to have had a bit of their colors tinkered with but it works well in the context of the story. There are no problems at all with any print damage, dirt or debris and overall the image quality here is pretty strong.

    Korean language options are provided in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo formats with removable subtitles available in English only. Audio quality here, in regards to the lossless track, is also very good. Rears are used effectively if sometimes very subtlety throughout the movie while the levels remain properly balanced to ensure clean, clear sounding dialogue. As would be expected for a recent film such as this, there are no problems with any hiss or distortion and range is good throughout, there’s nice depth here.

    Extras are slim – we get a twelve minute behind the scenes featurette that shows a few scenes being shot on the island and we get a trailer. Aside from that, there are menus and chapter stops and previews that play for a few unrelated Well Go USA properties before those aforementioned menus are accessible.

    The Final Word:

    Not the slaughterfest that the cover art might make it out to be, Bedevilled is a pensive and though provoking film that hits hard. Not for the faint of heart it’s about as grim as they come but it’s very well made and very well acted – it also offers up enough food for thought that it manages to be something more than just a ‘horror movie.’ Well Go USA’s Blu-ray release is light on extras but it sounds good and looks good and the movie itself is strong enough that this is easy to recommend to those with a strong stomach and a taste for more extreme cinema.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!