Wednesday, November 7, 2012


A man with an almost cult leader-esque ability to win friends and influence people teams up with a corrupt detective to start something like a backwoods Korean mafia. Years later, after the man's death, his son comes to visit his seemingly sleepy, rural town, only to slowly uncover its violent, sordid history.

First note: sorry for the delay in posts. Life has been intervening. I have about the last week or so's worth of movies to still post, and I will try to get them out ASAP. Still, I'm pretty busy right now so I may be making my posts more terse.

More moody crime drama than full-out horror film, Moss provides further attestation to the fact that South Korea is producing some of the world's most interesting recent genre films. It's an ambitious, complex, multi-character, multi-generational mystery that bounces back and forth between past and present. The story is dense enough that it is hard to follow for the first half hour or so, but like The Wire, you'll eventually catch up to the film's stride.

At nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes, I wish Moss had a better denouement. It's so rich in mystery and possibilities (and doesn't skimp on the thrills, either) that the final revelations feel like a let down. Just goes to show you that it's usually the question and not the answer that makes a mystery compelling.

Props should go out to the actors portraying the villains, who have to play themselves in modern day as well as young men. The old-man make-up is, if not perfect, convincing enough, and the performances deal with a considerable technical challenge without looking like they are breaking a sweat.

Rating: B

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