DOOR LOCK (2018) Reviews and overview

Door Lock is a 2018 South Korean horror-thriller feature film about a young woman who suspects a stranger may have broken into her tiny apartment.

Directed by Kwon Lee from a screenplay co-written with Park Jung-Hee, loosely based on Alberto Marini’s plot for the Spanish psychological thriller Sleep Tight (2012), 도어락 aka Do-eo-lak (original titles) stars Gong Hyo-Jin, Kim Ye-Won and Kim Sung-oh.


Kyung-min lives alone in a one-room apartment. One day, she finds a trace of a stranger breaking into her room and soon a mysterious murder case begins to unravel…


“It’s a clever premise which is executed superbly by director Kwon Lee. As the plot thickens and more players are introduced into the mix, it’s Gong Hyo-jin’s assured performance which keeps everything grounded. Door Lock is a psychological thriller of the highest order.” Rod Aldam, Backseat Mafia

“It gets under your skin, making you question the artifice of safety. The bleak realism crafts a world that feels familiar and horrific at the same time. Anyone who loves suspense, thrillers, or just enjoys a film that invokes a sense of unease needs to give Door Lock a watch.” Brendan Frye, CG magazine

“It strikes an impressive balance between that sense of all-pervading danger and the immediate, acute risks that its heroines face, director Kwon Lee handling both tension and suspense with consummate skill. There’s a great deal packed into the 100 minute running time, with small, seemingly trivial observations proving important later on…” Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Door Lock is a well shot and at times fiercely creepy thriller that almost acts as a companion piece to Sleep Tight, and while I wouldn’t say it reaches the same heights as the original, it deviates enough from the source material to feel like its own story.” Adam Patterson, Film Pulse

” …audiences have been blessed with the fortune of enjoying top-tier South Korean cinema for a while already that everything they touch is pure gold […] Sometimes the effort is just solid, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Door Lock is a perfect example of such an entertaining, thoroughly engaging thriller with one neat trick up its sleeve.” Edgar Chaput, Sordid Cinema

“The men who routinely approach Kyung-min do so with frustrated entitlement. They disregard her right to refuse for no particular reason and assume it to be a slight, insisting that Kyung-min is a snob who has only rejected them for their working-class occupations and relative lack of financial status […] Hayley Scanlon, Windows on Worlds


Door Lock was released theatrically in South Korea by Megabox Plus M on December 5, 2018. Since then it has been shown at various festivals worldwide and will be one of the curated entries at the Mayhem Festival in Nottingham, England, on 13th October 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Gong Hyo-jin … Cho Kyung-min
  • Kim Ye-won … Oh Hyo-joo
  • Kim Sung-oh … Detective Lee
  • Jo Bok-rae
  • Lee Ga-sub
  • Lee Chun-hee

Technical details:

102 minutes


Sleep Tight – Spain, 2012 – reviews

South Korean cinema

New and future releases