The Closet (2020)

thecloset

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A concerned father discovers a sinister secret in this haunting Korean film that deals with the line between reality and the supernatural.

Sang-Won is a father who is attempting to start his life over with daughter Ina after the death of his wife Seung-Hee. They move into a new home in the woods and in the midst of their move, Sang-Won attempts to find a nanny while he continues his work at a construction site. However, Ina begins to show signs of disdain and aggression towards her father. One fateful night, a scream is hard and Ina all of a sudden disappears and yet she never left the house.

A month passes since Ina’s disappearance and Sang-Won is left at many dead ends. One day, a mysterious man, Kyung-Hoon, arrives and tells Sang-Won of the house’s closet, which is believed to be a portal to the supernatural realm. At first Sang-Won is extremely skeptical but soon learns the haunting truth and discovers a possibly way to rescue his daughter. However, to do so, he must confront his past demons and the force responsible for the disappearance of his daughter and he will go to great lengths to get Ina back but will need Kyung-Hoon’s help to succeed.

Newcomer director Kim Kwang-Bin has crafted a very haunting tale that starts out as a tale of a father and daughter reeling from the death of the matriarch in very different ways. However, as the film progresses, it slowly becomes a battle between reality and the supernatural when the daughter is inexplicably gone with no clues pointing anywhere and even goes as far as saying the father may be suffering from mental illness due to the traumatic events.

Ha Jung-Woo is excellent in the role of the embittered Sang-Woo, who attempts to communicate with his daughter, played by breakout Heo Yul, who spends the film either quiet or lashing out. However, the film mostly revolves around the father as he frantically searches for his daughter. We see Ha portray Sang-Woo going through so much within the first half of the film.

It is with the second half that the story really catches its groove with the appearances of both the mysterious Kyung-Hoon, played by Kim Nam-Gil and the appearance of the force responsible for the disappearances, which bring in a kind of The Ring and The Grudge kind of riff. What’s even more interesting in the film is towards the end, which begins with Sang-Won making the big decision to enter the realm in hopes to reason with the force responsible in order to get his daughter back. There are some jump scares in the film as well as some shocking moments involving Sang-Won entering the realm because they are somewhat unexpected but it’s the twist in this third act that really dishes out making this a worthy supernatural film.

You may think twice about entering The Closet after seeing this film and that’s only meant literally. The film is a slow tense thriller that delves into the supernatural in its second half, driven by great performances by Ha Jung-Woo and young breakout Heo Yul.

WFG RATING: B

capelight Pictures and CJ Entertainment presents a Moonlight Film/Perfect Storm Film production. Director: Kim Kwang-Bin. Producers: Ha Jung-Woo and Yoon Jong-Bin. Writer: Kim Kwang-Bin. Cinematography: Choi Chan-Min. Editing: Kim Sang-Beom.

Cast: Ha Jung-Woo, Kim Nam-Gil, Heo Yul, Kim Si-Ah, Shin Hyun-Bin, Kim Soo-Jin, Park Ji-Ah, Im Hyun-Sung, Jang Yi-Joo, Kang Shin-Chul, Lee Do-Guk, Lee Yang-Hee.

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