Spider Forest

Director: Song Il-gon

2004. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 118 min.

A noirish psychological suspenser wrapped around a murder mystery, director Song Il-gon’s Spider Forest spins an involving web. A guy wakes up in a house in a forest and finds a man horribly murdered. Nearby, a woman the guy knows, Hwang Su-yeong, is dying. The guy gives chase to an intruder, is temporarily knocked unconscious and, after wandering through a tunnel to the outside world, is knocked down by a car just as he seems to spot the intruder again. Later, after brain surgery, he keeps repeating the words ‘Spider Forest’. This arresting set-up continues to hold the attention as the mists clear on who’s who and the story continues in both past and present. The main protagonist, Kang Min (Kam Woo-seong), is a TV producer who lost his choreographer wife, Eun-ah (Seo Jeong from The Isle), in a plane crash. Flashbacks portray their life together and Kang’s subsequent meeting with TV station employee Hwang, with whom he started a hot relationship. On a technical level, the atmospheric cinematography and design and Yun Min-hwa’s broad, melancholic score help to maintain interest even when it’s clear the script is simply playing a three-card trick.

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