July 26, 2014

Loner: Unrealistic Family Complications Amid Real Estate Porn

Which of the following fright flicks would you like to see most?

1. The one about the nerdy lesbian (Lee Da-in) who gets bullied into shoplifting lingerie then exacts revenge on her tormenter (Lee Eun-hee) by slitting her throat and showering her in blood?
2. The one about the shrink (Chae Min-seo) whose course in young hermits becomes useful when the daughter (Ko Eun-ah) of her fiancee (Jeong Yeong-suk) goes into major "recluse" mode.
3. The one about the matriarch (Jeong Yu-seok) who has her son pretend his daughter's his niece to spite the girl's mother (Lee Yeon-su).

Can't decide? You don't have to! Loner is all those things knotted together across many bad hair days, involving a drunk janitor (Lim Dae-ho), a doomed domestic and a half-sister with a bone to pick. Well, when you tire of scenery-chewing, focus on scenery, I say.

Set in an absolutely gorgeous modern home, Loner has got to have one of the most opulent settings in horror. Check out the remote-controlled, luminescent walls that pivot open between the study and the bedroom, and the self-enclosed courtyard overseen, in part, by two second-story hallways of glass. The furnishings and accoutrements are equally lush: a minimalist wood-and-metal chair with a small opening under the seat to store magazines, a quirkily contemporary rocker just outside the garden, a cut-glass bottle of Camus Whiskey, a small flock of crystal hummingbirds... Bored by the cast's tormented cries and deranged laughter, I allowed myself to freeze frame gilded wallpaper in one room and the parabola lamp near the L-shaped leather couch in another. I was particularly taken with the large landscapes in the aforementioned hall upstairs. There's a reason why it all looks so lush. Loner's mansion set cost $300,000 to construct. I hope, someone moved in when Park Je-shik wrapped this movie because he wrapped it in mink.

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