The Divine Fury – South Korea, 2019 – reviews and US Blu-ray, DVD and Digital news

The Divine Fury is a 2019 South Korean action horror feature film written and directed by Jason Kim aka Joo-hwan Kim. The movie stars Seo-Joon Park, Sung-Ki Ahn, Do-Hwan Woo and Eun-hyung Jo. The original title is 사자 or Saja [“Lion”].

Plot:

After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hoo (Seo-Joon Park) abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself.

Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until mysterious wounds appear in the palms of his hands.

Yong-hoo solicits help from Father Ahn (Sung-Ki Ahn), hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world…

Reviews:

“The horror element is very dark, there are some quite disturbing moments, and we are made to understand just how despicable the Dark Bishop is – because the more threatening the villain is and the more we care for the hero, the more we’ll be invested in that climactic fight.” Cody Hamman, Arrow in the Head

“It features some of the liveliest exorcisms seen in cinema for years and little touches of camp, from glowing red eyes to black goo pouring out of mouths, ensure that it doesn’t get too serious. The Hitchcock homage in a murder of crows is nicely played out and Kim has no difficulty making the various motifs that he draws on fit his own style.” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Those who are looking for an all-out martial arts action-horror mashup may be slightly disappointed, only because there’s so much more to The Divine Fury and the focus on fight choreography is second to the strong themes at play. There’s absolutely great fight sequences, they just aren’t the sole focus.” C.H. Newell, Father Son Holy Gore

The Divine Fury is an entertaining, yet slight action-horror film that, while containing a few thunderous moments, doesn’t quite stick the landing or embrace its great concept. There’s a smattering of comedy and a few scenes of pure ass-kicking, but these are too often overshadowed by a plot that simply doesn’t move as fast as it should.” Adam Patterson, Film Pulse

“Kept aloft by two engaging and charismatic leads and some top-notch direction, it pulls you into its ridiculous world of exorcisms and action with gusto. While it does make you wait before it fully unleashes its premise, which can and has strained the patience of some viewers and critics, its final action sequences are worth waiting for.” Thomas O’Connor, Goomba Stomp

“This is scary stuff, but the best news is Kim avoids nearly all the clichés we usually get from horror movie conclusions. However, the film flat out promises a spin-off sequel featuring a minor supporting character. Based on the quality of everything proceeding it, that qualifies as good news. Indeed, Divine Fury is definitely A-list K-horror…” Joe Bendel, J.B. Spins

…The Divine Fury blends action and horror into an enthralling ride. The plot may not be wholly original or go any unexpected places, but the characters and intrigue do enough to carry through. It’s strange and creepy and legitimately scary, and you can see potential for future installments if there’s interest.” Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See

The Divine Fury is 129-minutes long and feels it. Some on-screen action is goosed by Ja-wan Koo’s Hans Zimmer-esque score, complete with periodic “braaahms.” But the sheer spectacle of victims levitating, vomiting blood, and screaming obscenities at feisty Yong-hu and patient Father Ahn just isn’t spectacular enough.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

The Divine Fury is still a good watch despite the need for some narrative trimming. A little sharping would have made this a much better film but it is anything but a waste for what you get.” Jacob Smith, Society Reviews

“Rather than capitalise on its ridiculous, though admittedly attention-grabbing premise, The Divine Fury simply cannot commit to what kind of film it wants to be, resulting in a sluggish, pedestrian thriller. Kim unwittingly proves that it takes more than tossing together a random collection of genre tropes to make a successful high-concept movie.” James Marsh, South China Morning Post

Release:

The film was released in South Korea on July 31, 2019. Well Go USA is distributing The Diving Fury in America, with a limited theatrical run in August followed by Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital releases on November 19, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Seo-Joon Park … Yong-hoo
  • Sung-Ki Ahn … Father Ahn
  • Do-Hwan Woo … Ji-sin
  • Eun-hyung Jo
  • Seung-Joon Lee … Police Sergeant Park
  • Woo-sik Choi … Father Choi
  • Ji-Hoon Jung
  • Si-eun Kim … Nun Theresa

Related:

The Priests aka The Priests: Exorcism – South Korea, 2015 – reviews

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