Memoir of a Murderer
Director: Won Shin-yeon
Cast: Cast: Sul Kyung-gu, Kim Nam-gil, Seol-hyun, Oh Dal-su
Film genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime
Cert 15, 118 mins, 2017
Distributed by Showbox Corp
Serial killers are popular figures in South Korean cinema, and their shocking tales of murder hold a tight grip on the neck of their box-office. In Memoir of a Murderer, one elderly killer’s grasp loosens as his memory begins to fail, but a dangerous new foe is ready to take his place…
In his youth, Byung-su (Sul Kyung-gu, The Merciless) was a ruthless serial killer, but now he’s fallen prey to foes every bit as vicious as his younger self: old age and Alzheimer’s. Having long since given up his hobby of removing from society those he felt unworthy of life, the former murderer has settled into a quiet existence looking after a daughter (Seol-hyun, Gangnam Blues) who has no knowledge of his heinous crimes. While a diary helps Byung-su recall his colourful past, the present is becoming increasingly fractured as his memory fails. When a new murderer appears in town, a chance encounter sees the old killer quickly recognise one of his own kind, but when this new threat makes his daughter the next target, remembering has become a matter of life and death.
Director Won Shin-yun (The Suspect) echoes the mental state of our unreliable guide in the snowy landscapes and dark tunnels that infuse a cold style to his fragmented thriller. Actor Sul Kyung-gu (also featuring in our June Teaser Screening, 1987: When the Day Comes) provides a multi-faceted performance in a film adapted from the novel of celebrated author Kim Young-ha. Memoir of a Murderer debuted in the number one spot at the Korean box-office; its psychological twists and dark thrills promise equal appeal to UK audiences.