MIDNIGHT (2021) Reviews and overview of Korean psycho thriller

 

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‘A life-threatening chase in deadly silence’

Midnight is a 2021 Korean psycho-thriller film about a hearing-impaired young woman who catches the attention of a mysterious serial killer; the latter presumes her deafness will make her an easy target, thus sparking a twisted game where the murderer hides in plain sight.

Written and directed by Kwon Oh-Seung – making his directorial debut. The movie stars Ki-Joo Jin, Hae-Yeon Kil, Wi Ha-Joon (Squid Game; Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum), Park Hoon and Kim Hye-Yoon.

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Plot:

Kyeong-mi (Jin Ki-joo), a deaf girl, works as a sign language counsellor at the sign language call centre. One night she witnesses the stabbing of So Jung-eun’s (Kim Hye-yoon) and so becomes a new target for the Jekyll and Hyde serial killer Do-sik (Wi Ha-joon). It now turns into a silent chase. Jong Tak (Park Hoon), So Jung-eun’s brother, a security guard has to try and protect her sister…

Reviews:

Midnight is a clever thriller that uses Kyung-Mi’s hearing impediment in several interesting and inventive ways. Despite much of the action taking place on the streets, director Kwon Oh-Seung does a great job of giving his film a claustrophobic feel. Indeed, in many ways much of the action is self-contained […] Midnight bathes in a number of genres to create a tense and rewarding experience.” Backseat Mafia

…Midnight keeps you invested and sheds a glaring, confrontational light on society’s indifference. More importantly, Kwon Oh-seung impresses with a propulsive, thrilling debut that makes creative use of sound. Even if the destination feels more like a safer bet, the journey getting there takes surprising and oft intense detours that easily make it one worth taking.” Bloody Disgusting

“Whilst the film is incredibly tense, sometimes you can’t help but think just how convenient everything is for the killer. Everything seems to happen in their favour […]Midnight isn’t the best thriller to come out of South Korea in recent years but nonetheless, it’s packed full of tension and is a thoroughly engaging” Coastal House Media

” …the police officers in this film are portrayed as being completely useless. Almost comically so. In any case, you should definitely watch this movie for its crazy and sinister serial killer character. Just prepare yourself for some irritating scenes along the way and you should be very well-entertained.” Heaven of Horror

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“Baby-faced Do-shik (chillingly portrayed by Wi Ha-jun) is one of the creepiest, most monstrous serial killers seen on film, since maybe the contemporary Korean milestones, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. There is also a good deal of social commentary in Midnight, regarding the way the cops and society, in general, treat the deaf, but instead of detracting from the suspense, it actually intensifies it.” J.B. Spins

Midnight was a pleasant surprise through the duration, brimming with crowd-pleasing moments of shock and awe. An obvious highlight is an edge-of-your-seat chase through an abandoned parking garage, one which made me exceedingly anxious the longer it went on. Another is The Shining homage that comes late but leaves a hell of a mark. Midnight is one satisfying movie that ends in a bang, and establishes its place in the Korean thriller canon.” Josh at the Movies

” …Jin Ki-Joo gives a solid performance. She reportedly did some intensive study of sign language to take the part and brings an earnestness to the part that makes her something more than a continual victim at the hands of Do-sik. The latter is creepily played by Wi Ha-Joon […] The final 20 minutes or so are some of the most tense in any thriller you’re likely to see, even if some of it staggers belief.” The Reel Bits

“This is an enormously physical film and some may grow weary with numerous lengthy foot chases, although the photography of these sequences more than justifies it, swooping through the streets. That it delivers on both the fast-paced action pieces while also weaving in its frustrations and social commentary is to be celebrated. It is easily one of the more stressful film-watching experiences I’ve had in some time.” Scared Sheepless

Release:

In Korea, the film was released simultaneously theatrically and via streaming media TVING on June 30th 2021.

In the UK, Midnight will be released on Blu-ray and VOD by Montage Pictures/Eureka! Entertainment on March 14th, 2022. The first print-run of 2000 Blu-ray releases will include a Limited Edition O-card Slipcase and Collector’s Booklet.

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Cast and characters:

Ki-Joo Jin … Kyung Mi
Hae-Yeon Kil … Kyung Mi’s mother
Wi Ha-Joon … Do Shik
Park Hoon … Jong Tak So Jung’s older brother
Kim Hye-Yoon … So Jung
Oh Ji-Young … Jin Sang Nyeo [Call Centre]
Noh Su Min … Couple man
Na Eun Saem … Couple woman
Eun-Woo Bae … Police
Min-woo Choi … Office worker

Technical details:

103 minutes

Original title:

미드나이트 aka Mideunaiteu

Trailer 1:

Trailer 2:

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