I can only apologise for being so tardy in reviewing this superior horror from South Korea.
It didn't show at cinemas around these parts so I had to wait until Lovefilm finally sent me a copy.
And I have to say it is certainly one of the best horror/thrillers of the years so far.
And, while there is blood aplenty, I am pleased to say that it didn't wallow in the gore in the way that too many movies do, nowadays.
In fact, there wasn't an intestine in sight.
So what's the premise?
A secret agent's fiancee is murdered by a mad serial killer (Choi Minsik) and when her body is discovered chopped up, our hero (Lee Byung-Hun) vows terrible revenge.
What I mean by our hero is that in the early stages it seems like a clear case of good guy on the trail of Hannibal Lecter-like psychopath.
However, the wronged fiancee is not satisfied on merely finding his man and killing him.
He wants to bring on the same level of malevolence that the murderer has shown in making his victims suffer drawn out deaths.
It would spoil the film to say more but suffice to say the chase goes on for 144 minutes. It's such a tense ride I felt like I needed to wring my shirt out by the end.
Director Kim Jee Woon has to be praised for keeping such an amazing pace going throughout a pretty long movie. The superb score adds to the tension.
After the opening 20 minutes of scene-setting, the chase becomes utterly relentless.
Choi plays a fabulous part. His character is a superb balance between being off his head and cunning enough to outwit his pursuer.
Lee is a cross between an unflustered action hero and a wounded tiger - sometimes weeping, sometimes very very angry.
The whole thing is a potent mix and makes this a movie well worth seeing - if your stomach can take it.
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