Yellow Sea (2010)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Yellow Sea (Hwanghae) is second, and so far his latest, movie from director Hong-jin Na set in similar dark tones as his brilliant debut The Chaser.

In China, near the boarder of North Korea, lives Gu-nam (Jung-woo Ha), a poor taxi driver whose has amounted large debts due to his gambling habits. His wife has left to work in South Korea with promise to send back money, but he hasn't heard from her for half a year. Worried about her, sinking deeper in debts and being pushed around by debt collectors, he takes onto local gangsters offer to come to South Korean and kill a local businessman for mere $10000

Upon arriving, unwillingly he finds himself in a tight spot where police, local gangs and international mafia want to have a word with him. Still, he has to find his wife amid all that mess.

Coming from his fame of The Chaser, a lot was expected from Hong-jin Na  and with Yellow Sea he has proven that he is capable director with bright future ahead.
A little less suspenseful and perhaps a bit prolonged, than it's predecessor, it's a wonderful, character oriented thriller, with beautiful cinematography great performances and lot of traditional gore and violence that usually accompanies shady characters in movies.

In middle of all that, there is a lot of politics and ethnic commentary from director, as the main character is Korean immigrant, citizen of China, living near North Korea, and finding his luck in South Korea. Thus the name of the movie Yellow Sea - a sea that connects all of this.

Dark and grim. Movie about a running man with no way out. Recommended.

DVD from Amazon

The Chaser (2008)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Chaser (Chugyeogja) is directorial debut of Hong-jin Na who currently is one of the hottest directors in South Korea, and his latest movie The Yellow Sea is a sign that soon he will be on everyone's mind when discussing Korean cinema.

Movie follows Joong-ho (Yun-seok Kim), ex-detective now turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his working girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the missing girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now...

The Chaser is inspired by actual serial killer who was murdering in South Korea until 2004.

As with Oldboy, Hollywood noticed how good it is and soon after release acquired rights for remake, so we can expect another take on this story sometime soon.

Great acting, brutal violence, it's a must see for any serial killer movie fan.

DVD from Amazon.