Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 28th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2010
Directors: Owen Cho, Sang-Hwa Kim
Cast: Chun Ho-jin, Hae-jin Yu
DVD released: August 20th, 2012
Approximate running time: 91 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
DVD Release: Terracotta Distribution
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £11.00
Synopsis: A post-traumatic stress disorder patient and paralyzed amnesia patient find themselves confined to beds in the same hospital room. Shortly after his arrival post-traumatic stress disorder patient discovers that the man in the other is also the same man that killed his with many years before. Unable to move and wanting revenge, post-traumatic stress disorder patient concocts ways to inflict pain on the man who killed his wife.
At the core of this film are two men, who’s connection to a now dead woman serves as the anchor of this revenge themed film. And to this film’s credit the facts of said woman’s death are not fully given out to viewer. In fact the events of what actually happened that day are slowly feed to viewer as the two start regaining their memories that they have regressed. This ‘Hitchcockian’ way of involving the viewers in the story at hand is without the a doubt this films greatest asset. And in keeping true with other South Korean ‘vengeance’ themed films, the best is saved for last. With a shocking ending that perfectly wraps up everything that lead up to that point.
Though there are most definitely more violent examples South Korean ‘vengeance’ themed films. That is not to say that this film is without its fare share of moments of brutality. Another area in which this film often excels is its cinematography which helps drive home the claustrophobic feel of the story at hand. Keeping a film in one primary location and in the case of this film, a hospital room. Is not an easy feat and yet there is never moment in which the viewer does not get engulfed by the mounting tension.
From performance stand point every single performance is great. especially the film’s two leads Ho-jin Cheon (I Saw The Devil) and Yoo Hae-jin, who have been cast as the two men with a score to settle with each other. Another performance of note Seo Hyo-rim, who has been cast in the role of the nurse that is taking care of the two men.
Though the method of deliver has been ever so slightly been altered, the end result is in line what one would expect from a ‘vengeance’ themed film from South Korea.
Terracotta Distribution presents Desire to Kill in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean. The differences between the two audio mixes are minimal. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a brief intro before the film with director Jo Won-hee, a trailer for the film (1 minute 30 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a segment titled ‘trailer highlight’ (30 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), interview with actress Yu Hae-jin and actor Suh Hyo-lim (4 minutes 59 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), who discuss the characters they portray and the cast. Also included with this release is a brief segment about the Terror-Cotta film festival. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Hansel & Gretel, Death Bell, Revenge a Love Story and Fox Family. Overall Desire to Kill gets a strong DVD release from Terracotta Distribution.