Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: To Catch A Virgin Ghost (aka Sisily 2km) (2004)

To Catch A Viring Ghost (aka Sisily 2km) (Review)
Shin Jung-Won/Im Chang-jung/2004
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"This is a genuinely quirky, charming, and humorous film."

Seok-tae (Kwon Oh-Jung) runs off with diamonds from his gang to a small remote village, Sisily. Yang-e (Im Chang-jung) and his crew track him to the town where not everything is what it seems...

To Catch A Virgin Ghost continues as Yang-e and his crew interrogate the villagers since Seok-tae has gone missing. Without spoiling much, the villagers found a diamond and decided to hide Seok-tae, and his cell phone leads Yang-e to the village. The plot continues to spiral into absurdity as the villagers try to throw the gang off over and over, while the gang runs into a virgin ghost, which leads to more hilarity. (Did you know virgin ghosts are afraid of men's things?) The ending of the film goes off the rails with an eccentric third act, and a sweet ending.

To Catch A Virgin Ghost is a real genre bender with crime, humor, and horror blended nicely together, although comedy has the strongest presence. The humor in this film is occasionally lighthearted and often black, but it's always funny. This is a genuinely quirky, charming, and humorous film. I felt like the ghost was underused during the first two acts despite coming full circle at the end, and it's a bit overwhelming during the final act, as well. In fact, it may alienate some fans who never experience such bizzare films before. However, it continues to be extremely humorous.

Im Chang-jung is impressive with his performance, and so is his crew, with hilarious clumsiness and oddness; they also play great gangsters at times. In fact, the entire cast has great chemistry and charm, especially during the quirkiest moments. I like the music, especially the chanting, it works well with the themes. The film felt like it occasionally lost momentum, but it is fairly paced, at least. Shin Jung-Win's direction is great, especially during the most absurd moments.

Overall, To Catch A Virgin Ghost (aka Sisily 2km) is a refreshingly quirky and absurdly hilarious film. A real genre bender, despite a stronger focus on comedy, with extremely entertaining qualities. The mixture of lighthearted and black comedy, without becoming too offensive, is refreshing, as well.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, and nudity. (male buttocks only during one scene, frontal nudity is censored.)

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