4-kyo-si Choo-ri-yeong-yeok / 4th Period Mystery (2009) - A teenie thriller that goes back to the basics - 7/10 (21/05/13)
Teenie and high school horror movies were quite popular in North America during the nineties and that vague somehow hit the Asian continent one decade later and many amazing but sometimes also redundant twisted supernatural movies flooded the market. This film goes back to the basics in a refreshing way. The movie keeps the concept of a popular and smart high school student and the morbid and mysterious outsider girl who must resolve the the murder of one of their class mates in only forty minutes during the dinner break before the rest of the class comes back and discovers the body. The two pupils soon find out that not only a couple of class mates but even several teachers had a solid reason to kill the victim who had a couple of sinister secrets. The two main characters who have a good chemistry have to find the true killer before time runs out.
This film is a fast paced thriller without any supernatural gimmicks such as demons or ghosts. It convinces with a solid introduction portraying the rough everyday life in Korean high schools but the film quickly gets a sinister turn. The rest of the movie is a very entertaining killer chase with several little twists and flashbacks. There are maybe a few too many scenes where the two main characters are just running across the entire school without getting all too tired but that's the only evident flaw in here. Of course, a sympathetic and not too distracting love story comes around as well. The film also includes a small number of humorous passages. It's a typically Asian humour somewhere between weird situations and a few slapstick moments. I like this kind of humour but it could happen that it rather distracts or disturbs other viewers. In my opinion, these scenes help to lighten up the tension filled atmosphere that keeps growing until the final conclusion that you probably won't see coming.
After all, this convincing teenie thriller never gets boring and features a thought out down-to-earth story line, a quite solid choice of actors, a fitting soundtrack and finally a great genre mixture of action scenes, tension filled moments, funny sidekicks and a smoothly evolving romantic part. This kind of movie won't reinvent the genre or leave a deeper impression but it's very addicting and entertaining. I guess you get what I mean: I'm quite glad I've watched it once and would also recommend it to my friends but I wouldn't purchase the movie in order to watch it over and over again. Fans of traditional crime flicks and Asian cinema maniacs should both check out this movie and won't be disappointed. Those who expect a horror film or a sinister slasher should though look elsewhere.« Kuchisake-Onna 2 / Carved: A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2 (2008) - Fairly better and different from the first part - 9/10 (20/05/13)Queensrÿche reviews »
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