This weekend, my wife and I were visited by the evil spirit of watching series as if there were no tomorrow and we just finished a Korean series that mixes elements of police thriller, suspense, the supernatural and above all, demonic possession. We introduce you:
As you can see, I am more and more adept at this Korean series and no, it is not because they beat me up and mistreat me to watch them, it is that they are simply very entertaining. Writers from the east of the planet do not touch their hearts to torture their protagonists and hit them with the same fury that the Treasury beats us every month, and when we have a series focused on the ravages of exorcisms, we know that they are going to suffer worse than Peter Parker in Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.
Plot and Direction
So-ra Kwon and Jae Won Seo throw the 16 chapters of this addictive series where a medium, a policewoman and an exorcist priest are involuntarily united in a tragedy that would mark their lives forever due to a case of possession that it got out of control, and THAT after ten years, they are still living the consequences of that event.
Just as I said, there is zero mercy, mercy, or compassion shown to the leads. From the beginning of the series until it ends, there is only pain and it shows when they begin to develop the main character Yoon Hwa Pyung (Dong-wook Kim), a boy who was born into a family of shamans and with the gift (or curse) of being able to see the spirits that surround us and that is what attracts a powerful malevolent spirit that makes his life a true hell and that leads to crossing paths with future police officer Kang Gil Young (Jung Eun-chae) and future exorcist Choi Yoon (Kim Jae-Wook) after a fateful night in which the three of them will share a fateful fate.
But contrary to how it sounds, our characters are not a trio of injured Magdalenas destined to suffer, but rather a strange trinity who are determined to discover the truth behind the events that marked them ten years ago and they will do so even if they have to face how much chocarrero spirit they throw at them.
Important detail to highlight is that the exorcisms are represented in the way that is closest to the Catholic canon (read the Devil’s Hostage so you don’t sleep for a few weeks) and what prevents the chapters from becoming repetitive is that each exorcism is different and it demands different things from our protagonists, taking them to the limits between heresy and the divine, the legal and the illegal. The way they mix Korean and Catholic rituals is very interesting, you can see that if they thoroughly researched what they were going to show on screen and it helps to have a better immersion in the story.
We must not forget the work of director Hong-sun Kim, who learns a lot from series like Constantine and Supernatural, taking what is necessary so as not to overwhelm us with so much misery and exorcism with adequate notes of humor without falling into the precipices in which said series fell. It is also noted that the cinematography and camera work is inspired by the Constantine film, again I clarify, inspired not stolen.
The language that Kim handles with the camera is very appropriate for the series, she knows how to create that expectation with what she shows on the screen and above all what she doesn’t show, but she also knows how to surprise you out of nowhere without making the scare look cheap. .
Performances and Casting
This triad of sufferers are a more than correct casting, the chemistry with which they combine Dong-wook Kim, Jung Eun-chae and Kim Jae-Wook is very good. Each character fits correctly into his archetype, where the medium is the heart of the group, he is impulsive and always acts to help others without thinking of himself; just as the police is the muscle and is the one that ends up facing physical threats in a credible way and finally, the brain of the group, the priest who calculates his emotions and must maintain his composure, because his opponent is nothing more and nothing less than the same demons of hell.
This dynamic helps create conflicts that one as a viewer can foresee and do not feel taken from the sleeve to create discord only for the protagonists to get along badly. Each actor sells you his drama and you really feel the struggle they are having between being faithful to his ideals or to his friends.
One of the most recurrent Achilles heels of these series is the budget to cover the needs that dark fantasy requires and it is a vital part of selling the story. So the director is skillful in keeping the story as close to reality as possible so as not to have visual effects that are not convincing and cause the opposite effect, the use of many practical effects and makeup is noticeable, which benefits the series. Atmosphere is created by what is not shown on screen and is created in our minds.
A very pleasant experience with this series in this subgenre that Westerners have half abandoned due to lack of creativity or because they are afraid of someone who does not let them commit to one hundred.
Until next time!
Tags: kdramaNetflixparanormalPossessionsserieskorean seriesThe Guest