AsianMovieWeb logo
RV: Resurrected Victims - Movie Poster
Original Title:

South Korea 2017

Mystery, Crime

Kwak Gyeong-taek

Kim Rae-won
Kim Hae-sook
Sung Dong-il
Jeon Hye-jin
Jang Young-nam
Lee Ji-won
Baek Bong-ki

Search AsianMovieWeb

RV: Resurrected Victims

RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 1

Story: Seo Jin-hong (Kim Rae-won) is a prosecutor. Seven years ago his mother Myeong-Sook (Kim Hae-sook) has been stabbed in broad daylight under mysterious circumstances. The culprit has been captured, but Seo believes that there is a second one on the loose. However, he couldn't find any additional clues. Then, seven years after her death, Myeong-Sook suddenly turns up again and attacks Jin-hong with a knife. The police is called in, but the case is soon taken away from detective Lee (Jeon Hye-jin) by an intelligence unit led by Son (Sung Dong-il). He tells Jin-hong that for years people actually rise from the dead in order to take revenge on their killers and then vanish. Thus, things don't look too good for the prosecutor since his mother attacked him. While the intelligence unit tries to question Myeong-Sook the prosecutor is looking for the killer of his mother. Jin-hong finds him eventually, but he states that he may have attacked the woman with a knife, but that another guy has suddenly turned up out of nowhere and killed her. It becomes apparent that the solution to the mystery lies somewhere in the prosecutor's past.

Filmroll RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 2 RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 3 Filmroll
RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 4

Review: Ok, so what exactly do we have here. A mystery thriller? A horror movie? Or ultimately a drama about constantly self-sacrificing mothers? Well, all at once to be exact. Such a genre mix is in strong demand of sensitivity in order to work out. But fortunately director Kwak Gyeon-taek does the job; already having delivered the cult-classic "Friend" there couldn't go anything wrong, right? Those who have repeatedly visited this site before will know that I consider Kwak to be one of Korea's most overrated directors and without having known who the man behind this movie was my opinion has been confirmed once again. The individual parts of the movie are strung together sloppily, nothing really fits and you constantly have to ask yourself what the movie actually was aiming to achieve. Moreover, the general level of amateurishness in respect to the directing is scary.

RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 5

"Resurrected Victims" looks at all times as if having been made by a director with little experience who also had to work with a small budget. But Kwak has already shot over ten movies! At that point you should be capable of bringing a decent script to screen without no piece fitting to the one before. The story is based on a novel by Park Ha-ik with the title "It is Over" from 2012. What's interesting is the way the resurrected are portrayed here. A mix of zombies, ghosts, but at no time killing randomly, but acting with a purpose, namely taking revenge on their killers. Yet, there isn't made much use of those beings. Kwak doesn't seem to be sure himself whether he wants to portray them as scary or mysterious resp. as some rather shallowly written individuals.

RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 6

A good example for this is the scene in which the resurrected mother is questioned by a priest (?). This could have been made into a pretty creepy scene, especially since there is some Hebrew spoken. But nothing of the sort. Instead, you are amused by the not that perfect English of the priest which even could have added to the atmosphere and provided the whole case with an international flair, but in the end radiates the same kind of awkwardness and heavy-handedness as the rest of the film because of the amateurish realization of some scenes. Then, there is also the intelligence unit which informs us that there have been countless cases like this before. Instead of featuring an "X-Files"-like government intelligence the case and the way it is dealt with is presented in such a jolty fashion that you can't buy the supernatural premise at all. You even wonder, if all of this is actually meant for real or of there is in fact a rational explanation for the events.

RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 7

After we have realized that the director is dead-serious about all of this we are sent running after clues which are delivered non-stop. But especially in the beginning there are thrown so many names and facts at us that it becomes hard to follow the story. Then there are also flashbacks utilized on a regular basis and at one point we even realize that we have watched a flashback within a flashback. Besides that we follow the prosecutor's research as well as that of a detective who has been removed from the case and that of the unit for supernatural phenomenons, which allows everyone to do as they please despite emphasizing the high confidentiality of this case. The mystery of whether Jin-hong is guilty soon enough isn't one anymore and we are only interested in the exact circumstances of the murder. In this regard, "RV" is as predictable as any horror film and Kim Rae-won ("The Prison") also doesn't manage to give his role some more nuances that make us sympathize with him.

Filmroll RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 8 RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 9 Filmroll

RV: Resurrected Victims - Film Screenshot 10

Kim Hae-sook ("New Trial") has played the mother in so many movies that you can't count them anymore. Here, she shows all the willingness to sacrifice oneself that characterizes mothers in Korea in particular. Jin-hong's whole future and that of his family depend on a single exam. By this two aspects very typical for Korean society are put into the spotlight, making this movie a drama, too. And at the end there are even a few lines that want to make us believe that in its core "Resurrected Victims" is also a movie about the marrow of justice. All of this lacks any real subtlety, in fact it is presented with a strong portion of naivity and self-adulation. To get to the bottom of the case can be quite thrilling at times, but apart from the mother the characters turn out to be shallow. All in all this movie is an uneven genre mix without knowing where it is heading.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
Buy this movie:

RV: Resurrected Victims - Yesasia Yesasia Logo