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Director Jaehyun Jang’s third occult film… Choi Min-sik and Kim Go-eun’s outstanding acting

Movie ‘Buried Tomb’

Movie ‘Buried Tomb’

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Youngjae Lee = Digging means digging up a grave to take out a coffin or remains. Grave exhumation is performed when the remains are moved and buried elsewhere.

If you are at a scene where something that has been buried in a grave for a long time is revealed, most people will probably turn their heads with an inexplicable sense of fear, but somewhere in their hearts, they will be curious to see it.

Director Jang Jae-hyun’s new film ‘Breakfast’, which has built an unrivaled world view of occult films with ‘Black Priests’ (2015) and ‘Sabaha’ (2019), stimulates curiosity as well as fear right from the title.

The story begins when Hwarim (Kim Go-eun), a young shaman recognized for her magical powers, receives a request from a wealthy Korean family living in the United States. She wants to solve a strange disease that appears to be cursed and is passed down from generation to generation.

Hwa-rim, who learned that her ancestor’s grave site is in trouble, visits Sang-deok (Choi Min-sik), a feng shui master with many years of experience who has visited every famous place in the country, and his partner, Young-geun (Yoo Hae-jin), an undertaker. A feng shui master is a person who determines whether the land, including a site, is good or bad according to traditional feng shui theory, and is also called a geogwan (地官).

Sang-deok and Yeong-geun accept Hwa-rim’s offer to work together to move the grave of the client’s ancestor, and as the four of them, including Bong-gil (Lee Do-hyeon), Hwa-rim’s disciple and colleague, set out to dig up the grave, scary things happen.

The chilly atmosphere of late fall, like damp leaves soaked in the rain, continues from the beginning to the end of the film. Most of the stories are set around sunset on a very cloudy day.

Sound also plays a part in giving goosebumps to the audience. The audience’s ears are pierced by unintelligible sounds of chanting scriptures, sounds that sound like cries of pain, and sounds made when glass breaks.

The ‘Daesalgut’ performed by Hwarim at the scene of digging up the graves of the client’s ancestors can be said to be a spectacle. The sight of Hwarim dancing with a sword as if possessed in front of a tomb filled with the sound of drums and chanting of scriptures is likely to be engraved in the audience’s memory.

Movie ‘Buried Tomb’

Movie ‘Buried Tomb’

Director Jang, who told a unique occult story by combining Christianity, Buddhism, and shamanism in ‘Black Priests’ and ‘Sabaha’, weaves feng shui and shamanism in ‘Pamyo’. The characters at the center of the story are Sangdeok, a feng shui master, and Hwarim, a shaman.

Choi Min-sik, who plays Sang-deok, realistically portrays on screen an elderly man who is cynical and snobbish, but deep down has a sense of professional responsibility and a warm heart. Choi Min-sik is a 35-year veteran actor who has portrayed all kinds of human characters, but this is his first time appearing in an occult film.

Kim Go-eun impressively played Hwarim, a shaman who follows tradition but has the boldness and sophistication of a new generation. In the scene where Hwa-rim stands alone in the dug up grave and looks out with sharp eyes, it feels like there is no actor who can replace Kim Go-eun.

The person who brings a cheerful feeling to the heavy atmosphere is Yeong-geun, played by Hae-jin Yoo. Young-geun’s quirky or witty remarks, if forgettable, make you laugh.

For Lee Do-hyun, who was recognized for his acting skills in dramas, ‘Pamyo’ is his screen debut. Lee Do-hyun, who plays Bong-gil, successfully played the role of supporting Kim Go-eun’s acting.

It is also interesting to note that Sangdeok, Hwarim, Yeonggeun, and Bonggil are all the same in that they are capitalist people who pursue profit.

The unique material of Pamyo draws the audience into the story, and the actors’ excellent acting adds to the sense of immersion, but it is disappointing that the film feels as if it leans toward visual fear and tension in the latter half of the film rather than continuing the power of the solid narrative to the end.

Director Jang is said to have planned ‘Exhumation’ based on his childhood memories of watching the relocation of a tomb that was over 100 years old. He attempted to become a funeral director and personally participated in about 10 village funerals. In addition, the level of perfection of the film was improved through historical research by actual shamans, feng shui masters, and undertakers.

‘Pamyo’ was invited to the forum section introducing experimental and original films at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, which opened on the 15th, and was recognized for its artistic quality.

Released on the 22nd. 134 minutes. Suitable for ages 15 and up.

Movie ‘Buried Tomb’

Movie ‘Buried Grave’

ljglory@yna.co.kr

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