April 25, 2010

Blood Rain: A Murder Mystery with a Paper Trail of Proof

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared after her husband confessed to having an extramarital affair. What she did during those eleven days remains a mystery to this day. Director Kim Dae-sung's Blood Rain suggests, against the odds, that she may have flown to Korea and written an old-fashioned potboiler as a restorative. The plot is standard Christie. It's 1808 and the royal investigator (Seung Won-cha) -- working on an arson case on the island of Donghwa -- suddenly lands in the middle of a gruesome murder case. As any Christie fan knows, everyone's a suspect so while one piece of evidence points at the paper mill owner's son (Park Young-woo) and another at the local artist (Ji Seong), who did it, even who had it done to him, stays unknown 'til the bitter end. There's a rational vs. superstitious conflict at work here but only a genre novice would side with the villagers blaming the vengeful ghost of Commissioner Kang (Jeon Ho-jin). And while she's without a motive, the island shaman (Choi Ji-na) is the creepiest character on screen. No one else could inspire followers to chop the heads off five real-life chickens, a jarringly bloody sequence that makes a human dismemberment earlier in the flick that less memorable. I see a PETA protest coming.


  1. say! you tagged cha seung won as "seung won-cha" while in his other movies he is tagged differently so when you click on that tag you can't find this movie along with the rest.

  2. Sometimes I write these reviews late at night and look what happens! Thanks for the correction.