“…I’ll never forget the night I ran with a wolf.”
words: desmond “neo” childs
Now I know the title of this movie makes it sound like a scary film, but it’s not. The film poster doesn’t help either, now that I think about it. Anyway, it’s detective story about several murders that seem to have one thing in common: a bite mark on the victim’s neck. The whole appeal of this movie is that it’s almost gives a vibe that something extradinary may be behind the recent murders going on. The movie is based off a novel titled, The Hunter by Nonami Asa. I wish there was a way to say this without sounding like I’m dissing director Yoo Ha’s picture; but I don’t think such a way exists. Howling is an engaging, evenly-paced, bundle of murder mystery fun! It would be a great movie to catch ON-DEMAND! Hm. Maybe it wasn’t that hard. Anyway, this was a pretty good film that actually managed to make the murder case itself more interesting than the film’s “tragic pet story” resolution we get at the end. It’s like the musical composer, Kim Jun-seok and company were determined to make us all feel SOMETHING for these people who had been through hell. And I’ll admitt, for the most part it was all earned and pulled off rather well; without being too heart stringy. The only part of the film I felt was lagging by the ending credits was the subplot of sexism. The deuteragonist is the newly transferred, upstart from the patrol desk. This cop is resourceful, intelligent, quick, and willing to work with others. The problem the “new guy” faces is that he’s a she. And she spends most of the movie being physically, verbally, and sexually harassed by the majority of the male characters on screen. Now we don’t get any scenes of rape, thankfully; but we get a group of really closed minded individuals who feel it’s their duty to give this poor woman hell for trying to do her job! I mean she takes it in stride too! There’s one scene when one jerk decides to buck up into her face and jab his finger into her forehead repeatedly; all but screaming “I’M THE BETTER SEX!” over and over again. So yeah, this cop takes a lot of abuse, inspite of all the great detective work she does throughout the film. Sure, she’s reckless. Yeah she did inadvertenly taze her senior partner while trying to apprehend a suspect; but she has a heart of gold! I mean, c’mon! I’m then reminded by my good friend, Amanda Deb that the treatment of women other in Asia is nowhere near the way it is hear in America. And that may be the case, but I can’t help but feel a little weird about it. It’s like part of the world is still stuck in the 1930s; at least socially. Sexism or not, I think I need to work on not taking where I live on this planet for granted anymore. Anyway, Howling is a fun film for a rainy, weekend. It’s got a lifetime movie vibe to it; if lifetime allowed scenes of R-rated swearing. As usual it’s on Netflix, so check it out before you can’t (if you no what I mean).
Really quick, here’s some information on the director. Yoo Ha is the man behind the critically acclaimed (you know I hate using those words) movie, A Dirty Carnival (2006). A film I apparently need to check in keeping with my Summer Gangster theme, yes? Mr. Ha is also responsible for movies such as A Frozen Flower (2008), and Once Upon a Time in High School (2004). Yoo Ha is also a screewriter and a contemporary poet. Here’s his picture, along with the trailer for Howling.
Directed by: Yoo Ha