Killer Toon (Review)
Kim Yong-gyun/Lee Si-young/2013
Where to Watch:
"...a fantastic first half, then fumbles to a
decent second half."
Prime When a string of murders resembling her web comics occur,
detective Lee Ki-cheol (Um Ki-joon) begins to investigate cartoonist
Kang Ji-yoon's (Lee Si-young) connection to the brutal crimes.
more than a traditional horror story, Killer Toon continues as Ki-cheol
investigates the crimes, and Ji-yoon attempts to clear her name, all
while her comics continue to come to life. The first half of the film is
creative and refreshing, with a slick blend of live-action and comic
horror. However, the second half of the film shows a clear loss of
momentum and focus. At this point, you realize the story is wandering
without a destination -- it's aiming without a target -- and it's just
going around in circles until it finally hits a dead end. The ending of
the film is good, but the final act exhausts so much energy with so many
unnecessary twists, it's almost tiring.
Killer Toon is a horror
film with a creative premise. Although not the first film to experiment
with the idea, the concept of art -- in this case, web comics -- coming
to life is unique and entertaining. The first half of the film is
filled with jolting jump-scares, bloody and spooky visuals, and a fresh,
creative style. It's a fun and entertaining experience. The second half
of the film, however, takes a turn for the worst. It feels like it's
recycling over and over until the ending. The twists are unnecessary and
ineffective -- there are no jaw-dropping moments. It still has a slick
style, but it has less scares than the first half, and it feels like it
starts to drag.
Lee Si-young is great as Ji-yoon, she delivers a
consistent and believable performance. Um Ki-joon lacks some charisma
and screen presence, but he's more than competent for the role and
offers great support. The makeup and special effects are very high
quality, and even interesting -- I'd like to see the process for some of
the practical effects. The music is wonderful, it sounds like it came
from an fairytale -- it's enchanting. The film is also beautifully shot
with great cinematography and engaging camerawork. I thoroughly enjoyed
the web comic segments, especially when they blended with the
live-action. (The film and audio quality on the South Korean Blu-ray are
superb.) Kim Yong-gyun's direction is fantastic during the first half,
but becomes messy and unbalanced during the second.
Killer Toon starts off with a fantastic first half, then fumbles to a
decent second half. The first half of the film was so fun and
refreshing, it's disappointing to see the film stumble the way it did.
However, despite a handful of flaws with the story, the second half is
still serviceable and offers some entertainment and redeeming qualities.
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.