July 15, 2021

The 8th Night: The Week Before

You'd think a movie involving a battle between good and evil would have a series of skirmishes before the big confrontation but Kim Tae-hyung's The 8th Night isn't following that convention. Instead, we're told about a monster (blinded by Buddha, no less) who's hoping he can reunite his black eye and his red eye and thereafter wreak havoc on the universe. The planets have aligned apparently. The keeper of the black eye (I think) knows that some crazy scientist has unearthed the red one and is conducting seriously amoral experiments to reactivate it. Once that's done, that one eye has eight nights to jump from body to body (or socket to socket, to be more accurate) until it reaches its partner-in-crime to inhabit the body of a virgin (Kim Yoo-jeong). What other body would house it?

Not much resistance goes on among the various victims in this journey. Generally speaking, the possessed keeper-of-the-eye cracks their neck, breaks out in a smile, sniffs its prey, then transfers into the new host. Creepy as hell but not much conflict. In this horror flick, the tension comes from knowing that with each "jump," the world is that much closer to Armageddon. I wasn't overly concerned with why the bitter monk (Lee Sung-min) with the axe wasn't hacking at an earlier iteration of the bodysnatching demon anymore than I was with the skeptical police officer (Park Hae-joon) who pooh-poohed the occult theories of his staff. The foolish naivete of the accolyte (Nam Da-reum) definitely made me wonder if this movie would have a happy or sad ending but I was fine with whichever way it went. In short, no spoilers here.