Bedevilled (UK - BD RB)
Marcus regretted this island vacation as soon as the blood started to spray...
Hae-won (Ji Seong-won) is a busy city girl who after having a few stressful weeks goes on vacation to a small island she used to visit, catching up with old friend, Kim Bok-nam (Seo Yeong-hie).
Unfortunately this idyllic island ain’t so idyllic and we discover the life that Kim Bok-nam leads is full of hard work and abuse. So with a failed escape attempt ending in Kim Bok-nam’s daughter accidentally getting killed and her mistreatment getting worse, enough is enough, and Kim Bok-nam begins wreaking revenge on her abusers.
Bedevilled really starts as one thing and ends up as another. The opening city based story with Hae-won witnessing an attack hints at one of those movies where the attackers make our lead female’s life hell for ninety minutes or so. The sudden move out to the island blows that entirely out of the water and sort of starts from scratch with another woman’s situation becoming the focus.
That said, the themes still remain the same, even if there is a location change. It doesn’t take long at all to form a seething hatred for most of the characters on this island, either because of their abusive nature or their indifference to it happening right under their noses. Because of this the uber-violence of the revenge wreaked on them becomes something of a joy to watch unfold (even if not all of it unfolds as naturally as you think it might).
All in all Bedevilled doesn’t offer up anything all that new in the domestic abuse/revenge horror arena, but the location is a little fresher than what we’re used to and the two lead females offer up a couple of strong performances that helped to anchor me to the bloody unravelling of events. The closing scenes also have a touch of that tacked on feel but by this point the drama that’s been generated between the two lead actresses carry it through the more over the top psycho elements.
I really liked the transfer with this one. It was bright, clean, and packed full of natural looking detail. From the warm well-lit city streets and office location in the opening scenes, to the naturally lit countryside after our lead takes a vacation, everything looks crisp and packed with HD goodness.
Skin tones and textures are particularly great and the foliage around the island glows with many different greens all bathed in bright sunlight. Black levels are also deep, especially for some of the characters' hair colours and the glossiness of Hae-won’s hair is the stuff shampoo ads thrive on.
The audio track here also offers some natural sounding goods. The dialogue is very strong and there’re some great atmospherics to fill out the track. Each location feels alive and the balanced mix keeps everything feeling very realistic.
The latter half of the movie has the score struggling a bit in the track with sound effects (screaming and slicing etc.) getting the lion’s share of the tracks presence, but this doesn’t really take away from the effect of the visuals so it’s not too noticeable.
The ‘Behind the Scenes’ (12:50 SD) is simply on set footage of the film getting made, effects shots getting prepared, scenes being filmed, and that’s about it.
The only other extras are the Trailer (02:01 SD) and the TV Spot (00:32 SD).
There was nothing all that different about Bedevilled, but the strength of the performances and the slow unravelling of the nasty situation made the entire project way above average for this reviewer. The majority of the movie feels brutally realistic and outside of the slightly more ‘Hollywood’ ending, the whole thing had that uncomfortable to watch desired effect.
The disc looks and sounds great but the features are pretty light. It’s still a revenge thriller/horror I’d recommend but it might be worth a rental first to those interested.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 28th February 2011
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Mater Audio 5.1 Korean, LPCM 2.0 Korean
Extras: Behind the Scenes, Trailer, TV Spot
Easter Egg: No
Director: Chul-soo Yang
Cast: Seo Yeong-hie, Ji Seong-won
Genre: Drama, Horror and Thriller
Length: 115 minutes
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