METAMORPHOSIS (2019) Reviews and overview

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Metamorphosis is a 2019 South Korean horror film about an evil spirit that infiltrates the family of an exorcist who previously tried to defeat it.

Directed by Hong-seon Kim (Traffickers), the Dana Creative production stars Sung-Woo Bae, Dong-il Sung and Young-nam Jang.


Joong-Su, an exorcist, must face a demon he tragically failed to defeat in the past when it targets his brother’s family next. The demon assumes the form of different family members to sow confusion and distrust, destroying the unit from within. With his loved ones in peril, Joong-Su must face the demon again, at the risk of his own life…


Metamorphosis offers horrific images that are effective and well crafted, but its plot doesn’t offer anything new to the possession subgenre. The start is promising, but it later deflates and becomes slow and predictable. Its possession moments are its strength…” 10th Circle

“Overall, Metamorphosis isn’t necessarily a game-changer for the genre, but it brings in enough unique facets to stand out amongst the usual crowd of possession movies. If you’re in need of a slightly off-center horror flick, give it a go.” Allusions of Grandeur

Metamorphosis is a fun watch. While it may not be as cohesive as I would have liked given the strong first acts, the time we spend with Kang-gu’s family is unnerving and makes for some fun scares and unsettling moments.” But Why Tho?

“It’s a slow, chore-like possession story rooted in recycled structures despite an otherwise mind-bendy hook. I wanted to be shocked, I wanted to be amazed, and yet I experienced tedium more than any other reaction. Too many stock-simple character arcs, not enough exploration of the focal body-swapping…” Flickering Myth

“Admittedly, there are a few script issues, such as the business with the likely possessed next-door neighbor, which is not fully fleshed out. However, the cumulative impact of Metamorphosis is absolutely exhausting—and darned scary. It is the kind of horror movie that gets under your skin rather than making you look under the bed.” J.B. Spins

“Director Kim seems unfazed by the script’s lack of originality or moments of contrivance, confident in his ability to find new frights in well-traveled neighborhoods. For the most part, he does, even managing to touch a nerve that resonates beyond the horror genre itself.” Madd Wolf

“Director Kim should have focused more on the family dynamics and showed their stress, instead of an expositional script that leaves no emotional impact when they undergo their trials. By the time the final moments come together, the rhythm feels harried and discordant, while the sacrifices evoke little sympathy.” Morgan Awyong

“In Hong-Sun’s film, the paranoid tension between the family members is never mined for the sort of thrills and suspense such a dynamic seems custom made for. It’s always made far too obvious who is possessed at any given time, which denies the audience the sort of skin-crawling guessing game we should be psychologically engaged in.” The Movie Waffler

“The power of exorcism is shown in the beginning as well as the end, and there is some fine display of creepiness with the neighbour’s house and the talk of the demons. It has blood nicely used, and having the evil entity more powerful than everything has more to be lost in this flick.” Movies of the Soul

“Leave it to Korea to bring us one of the more original exorcism movies I’ve seen in a while! I love how the demon can jump between people freely, leaving you unsure where it will pop up next. If that wasn’t enough, there is a decent amount of blood and the world’s creepiest neighbor.” My God’s Kitten

” …despite a few good ideas and a smattering of great moments (all of which are never fully embraced), this was hugely disappointing. The characters are wafer-thin, it’s as predictable as they come, looks weird aesthetically (that awkward digital look), takes pointless detours and for some reason, about 75% of the film is bathed in the most annoying blue light.” Nathan Stuart


The movie premiered on 21st August 2019 in South Korea and has been shown in fourteen countries since. The North American premiere of Metamorphosis will be on July 2nd on the Shudder streaming platform.

Cast and characters:

Sung-Woo Bae … Joong-soo
Dong-il Sung … Gang-goo
Young-nam Jang … Myung-joo
Hye-Jun Kim … Sun-woo
Yi-Hyun Cho … Hyun-joo
Kang-Hoon Kim … Woo-jong
Jeon Mi Do … Girl’s Mother
Se-hee Kim … Girl
Kwi-seon Kim … Father Dean
Dae-han Ji … Jacob

Filming locations:

San Agustin Church, Manila, Philippines

Technical details:

113 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Original title:



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