Deranged, a new film that has been breaking box offices in Korea and out-ticketing Spider-man and Dark Knight, follows a man desperate to find a cure for a fatal epidemic sweeping the nation.
Mummified and skeletal bodies suddenly rise up in bodies of water around the country. The cause of death is determined to be a mutated parasite worm. Within days of their infection, the parasite brainwashes its host, ultimately making them jump or drown to their deaths. Among them, pharmaceutical salesman Jae-hyeok’s family is infected and resorts to desperate measures in order to find a cure. His frantic search on the black market uncovers a conspiracy behind the epidemic.
On one hand, this is a psychological thriller/ horror epidemic film that really gets quite gruesome at times. In particular, the detail in which the researchers describe how the parasite invades its host and how the host eventually transpires was inspired by a 2009 documentary of the Horsehair (Gordian worm) in Korea. Placing its characters in this situation is not entirely far removed of it being plausible.
However, there is much to be appreciated about the parallel it draws with society. Right from the beginning, the film is latent with metaphors drawing similarities with status and economic standings. And perhaps that’s where the true horror lies; that when push comes to shove, people will shove each other very hard in order to get what they need for themselves and their own, rather than think about helping their fellow man.
For Shinhwa fans, Kim Dong-Wan graces the screen as a self-interested detective Jae-pil trying to make things right with his brother Jae-Hyeok (KIM Myung-Min). Former Miss Korea turned actress Honey Lee, continues to play headstrong female roles as Yun-joo, a researcher who joins the emergency task force and butts heads with stubborn government officials.
I suggest you have a very light meal before watching this film.
Deranged opens July 27th in the following cities and theatres: