Mulgoe [Monstrum] (2018)

Director: Jong-ho Huh
Writer: Heo-dam, Jong-ho Huh
Cast: Myung-Min Kim, In-kwon Kim, Hyeri Lee, Choi Woo-sik, Park Sung-Woong, Hee-soon Park, Kyeong-Yeong Lee, Kyu-bok Lee
Part of: /slash Filmfestival Golden Ticket Screening
Seen on: 18.1.2019

Many years ago, a mysterious illness broke out, leading King Jungjong (Hee-soon Park) to eradicate an entire village to keep it from spreading. But his best soldier Yoon Gyeom (Myung-Min Kim) refused to kill one of the inhabitants – a little girl. Instead he and his brother Sung Han (In-kwon Kim) took the girl to raise her in exile. Now many years have passed and the girl Myung (Hyeri Lee) grew up well with her two adoptive fathers. But there are rumors of a monster killing people, so the King sends soldier Heo (Choi Woo-sik) to ask Yoon Gyeom to investigate, fearing that the monster is an invention of his minster Sim Woon (Kyeong-Yeong Lee) who hopes to use it to gain more power. Yoon Gyeom, Sung Han and Myung accept the King’s request and go to find the supposed monster.

Monstrum is fun overall, though it didn’t leave me terribly excited. But it did leave me entertained and enjoying myself while it lasted.

The film poster showing Myung (Hyeri Lee), Yoon Gyeom (Myung-Min Kim), Sung Han (In-kwon Kim) and Heo (Choi Woo-sik) in fighting stances. Behind their backs is the face of a huge monster.

There is a hard political core in the film – in the end it’s all about power struggles and about how those power struggles are always fought on the backs of the poor people. Unfortunately that political message often takes a back seat and gets a little lost in all of the action and the monster stuff.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the monster stuff. And Sparkles is absolutely supercute. The film is often funny, and entertaining at all times. The monster stuff is definitely the best part of the film, so I understand why they focused on it.

A group of people with torches looking up in the sky, obviously scared.

That the film still didn’t get me all that excited is due to the fact that the emotional side of things just didn’t come together for me. I often saw what the film wanted me to feel at a particular moment or about a particular character. I just didn’t feel it. And without that, the film just can’t really win.

That being said, let me reiterate – I did have fun with this one. I didn’t regret seeing it at all. I just didn’t love it.

Heo (Choi Woo-sik), Myung (Hyeri Lee) and Sung Han (In-kwon Kim) looking tired and disheveled.

Summarizing: okay.

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