May 13, 2024

Haunters: Control Issues

When we first meet cursed Cho-in (Gang Dong-won) in Kim Min-suk's Haunters, we're not sure if this abused little boy (Yang Kyung-Mo) is going to end up the hero or the villain of the story. We know that his mother hopes to protect him from his own worst self but his childhood is brutal: physical and verbal violence that can't be hidden by the dirty blindfold he's forced to wear. But from such origin stories, superheroes are made, right? Um... Not this time. As we'll soon find out, once he's grown up, Cho-in will have been warped into pure evil, engaging in petty theft and mass murder, as the situation demands — assisted by his eye-engined superpower: Mind-Control.

His nemesis Im Gyoo-nam (Go-Soo) is, fittingly, quite the opposite. Unable to brainwave people into action; immune to the the time-stopping telepathy of Haunters' hellraiser, he's counting on his upbeat attitude, managerial promotion, and his two best friends — one Turkish (Enes Kaya), one Ghanian (Abu Dod) — to help him fight Cho-in when the latter's enraged. Gyoo-nam's gift for miraculous recoveries will come in handy, granted, but when your opponent can puppetmaster every other living human on earth (except babies), the odds are definitely not in your favor.