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House Of The Disappeared

Opening Date
25 May 2017
PG Some Disturbing Scenes
100 mins
Korean with English & Chinese subtitles
Horror, Thriller
Lim Dae-woong
Kim Yunjin, Ok Taec Yeon, Jo Jaeyun
After serving a 25-year prison sentence for the murder of her husband and child, Mi-hee returns to her forsaken home. She is terrified to walk around every corner but remains stubbornly in the house. A local priest, Choi, pays her a visit and tries to talk to her. She is reluctant to speak but insists she was not alone that fateful night. Someone had killed her husband and her son disappeared right before her eyes. Mi-hee believes that by staying behind and solving its mysteries, she might be able to find her long-lost son. Choi digs into the past and finds several strange articles dating back 75 years ago. He uncovers mysterious similarities in each case – all of them happening on November 11, exactly 25 years apart.
By Hoai  25 May 2017
Beyond the screams and cries, ‘House Of The Disappeared’ still manages to quietly warm the audience’s heart with its themes of family and motherhood.
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House Of The Disappeared almost feels like two different movies mashed together. The first half is your standard horror flick: Mrs Kang (Kim Yun Jin), after serving 25 years in prison for a murder charge of her husband and son, returns to her house to find out the truth about what happened on that fateful night. Alone in the long abandoned house, Mrs. Kang is constantly disturbed and attacked by angry ghosts and spirits, whom she is convinced are responsible for her husband’s death and her son’s mysterious disappearance 25 years ago.

The second half of the movie is much less of a horror and leans more towards the mystery genre. Confined in her house, Mrs. Kang receives help from Choi (Ok Taec Yeon), a priest with a peculiar interest in her case, who discovers the mystery about the “haunted” house.

The film jumps back and forth between the present, where the post-incarcerated Mrs. Kang lives in fear by herself, and the past of 25 years ago. The parallel structure leaves out a lot of details and creates red herrings that distract the audience from seeing the “twists” coming. The main twist is, in retrospect, rather standard, if not predictable, but one can still look forward to one or two jaw-dropping revelations throughout the film.

The central character Mrs. Kang, while not given much to do in the first half of the film except to react to the scary happenings in the house, shines in the second half where her love for her son motivates every choice she makes. The film, however, could give more focus on Choi. His role is merely to do the research for Mrs. Kang, who isn’t allowed to leave the house, even though there is more to his relationship with Mrs. Kang’s son that could have been explored more.

Beyond the screams and cries, ‘House Of The Disappeared’ still manages to quietly warm the audience’s heart with its themes of family and motherhood. It is definitely worth checking out even if horror isn’t your thing. By the time the film wraps up, it is the image of Mrs. Kang and her son that will stay with you, not the scary ghosts lurking around in her house.
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