Thursday, August 26, 2010

Suddenly in the Dark (깊은밤 갑자기) (1981)

Many Korean horror films like to depict stories about the Chosun Dynasty or other historical periods, but very few are about contemporary horror elements. Go Yeong-nam’s “Suddenly in Dark Night” is one good example of a strong and suspenseful horror story mixing oneirism and haunting traditional grudge. Having enjoyed a very good reception from critics and public upon it release, the story follow a couple in the downward spiral of their couple as a young and mysterious lady spend the holidays with them.
Mr. Kang is a leading specialist in Biology. One night he goes into some caves to take pictures of Insects and finds a rare breed of butterflies. The next day, he organizes a meeting with his friends to show them his discovery. The same night Kang’s wife, Sun-hi, starts to experience weird visions of strange wooden doll.
The couple than decide to go on vacation to their countryside house and they bring along the young, beautiful and innocent looking Mi-ok. However later that day, Sun-hi finds the same doll in Mi-ok’s belongings. That starts to make her feel strange and have a mixed feeling about the young lady, imagining her having a secret affair with her husband or ever perceive Mi-ok’s careless mind about chores as deliberate intentions that could lead to a fatal accident. Pushed on the edge of insanity after Kang refuse to believe that Mi-ok is a dangerous threat, Sun-hi decides to take actions against Mi-ok by killing her. But this only makes matters worse since the wooden doll is out for revenge.
The plot is somehow simple at first but have a sudden switch in halfway through, which make this film quite interesting. The acting is particularly good and gets even better towards the last quarter of the movie when Sun-hi totally turns mad. Let’s not forget about the unique soundtrack that mixes very well with the dream-like visual effects of hallucination (reminded me of some late 70’s Italian soundtracks). Despite a slow start, “Suddenly in the Dark” is a very entertaining and mysterious film from Go Yeong-nam. Another strong entry in South Korea’s horror movie repertoire.
Gip-eun bam gabjagi

Go Yeong-nam
Kim Young-ae
Yoon Il-bong
Lee Gi-seon



  1. Hello, Is this movie available somewhere on DVD? Thank You

    1. Hi Maciste, a few torrent sites have it. It was never released on DVD as far as I know.

  2. its just been released on dvd by the Korean Film Archive