Synopsis: A young girl is kidnapped by a serial killer who uses manholes to kidnap and kill his victims. The young girl’s older sister tries to save her before it’s too late.
Country: South Korea
Casting: Jung Kyung Ho, Jung Yu Mi, Kim Sae Ron…
Manhole was more than I expected! I thought it would only be a crazy, gross and scary movie with a bunch of talented actors and a story deserving at most a 5/10. But surprisingly I found it pretty well-realized and not that scary afterall (a bit gross though). Of course we had, like in every thriller, some classic/irrational moments (like the fact that nobody smells Soo Chul’s stench when he walks in the street whereas the guy lives in the sewers -nooormaall- or the mainstream victim that doesn’t run away even though darkness surrounds her and a scary guy looks at her and then disappears in a flash -Jung Kyung Ho had many super powers in that movie haha) but overall the plot was original and pretty sound. That wasn’t extraordinary but I didn’t get bored.
Manhole tells the story of a mad man who kidnaps person of all ages. A father starts to investigate on his daughter’s disappearance since nobody cares. He finally discovers the horrible truth: she is held prisoner in the sewers. He goes down with the intention to save her. In the meantime Soo-Jung (Kim Sae Ron) is also kidnapped. Her big sister -Yeon Seo (Jung Yu Mi)- decides to go save her too (no fears those Koreans really!) while the police finally (!) starts to put its nose into the case. The movie is, to sum up, built on never-ending chases between victims, saviour and psychopath (I escape, I’m caught I escape, I’m caught). This pattern is a bit boring in itself I must admit, but the ost, the way it was shot and the way the characters were played helped balanced it. There were some very aesthetic scenes with slow motion, close shot and crazy camera angle. For the musics I enjoyed most of them. It was very far from the classical tense, unpleasant sounds they usually used to make us jump from our seat. Instead of reinforcing the scary aspect of the scenes they rather moved me in a positive way. As for the actors it was very interesting to see Jung Kyung Ho in the role of a bloody psychopath for once (actually I started that movie only for him originally- my love for that guy will cause my loss one day^^). Kim Ah Ron was like always perfect. Here she played a young mute kidnapped by the awful manhole. No flaw in her performance. As for Jung Yu Mi, she was also great even though less expressive than the others actors. It was her character itself that moved me rather than herself. I was touched by her bravery and sense of sacrifice overall. I also totally loved the ending of the movie even though it was an opened one (I have my theory about who was that last person appearing at the very end but that’s hard to tell -probably because some points of the story could have been more developed! that’s maybe one of my greatest regret).
To sum up Manhole was a nice thriller even though not the best (coming from someone who is not really fond of thriller because she is a scary-cat, that’s a pretty positive conclusion). Like I said that wasn’t scary overall nor gross (I swear! Don’t trust the pictures or the trailer…you might want to avoid manhole for a couple of days that’s all^^). I would mainly recommend that movie to Jung Kyung Ho’s fans: that’s a pretty safe bet and that’s very interesting to see him in such role.
NB: I raised my original grade of 0.5 because they managed to bring tears to my eyes at some point.
Note de Dushbadou: 8/10
Note finale: 8/10