Exhuma: A horror mystery with a folklorish touch

Director: Jang Jae-hyun
Writer: Jang Jae-hyun
Main Cast: Choi Min-sik, Kim Go-eun, Lee Do-hyun
Genre: Horror/Mystery
Country: Korea
Runtime: 2h 14m

The year 2024 seems to be the year of horror films, with films like ‘The First Omen,’ ‘Abigail,’ ‘Late Night with the Devil,’ ‘Tarot,’ and now the Korean horror mystery ‘Exhuma,’ all hitting theatres within the past month.

The film wastes no time in setting the tone, with the first 40 minutes delivering an intense and nerve-wracking experience leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. However, as the plot unfolds and different storylines are introduced, the initial tension gradually dissipates.

The film follows a group of four professionals who deal with supernatural issues for wealthy families. Their most recent case involves a four-generation-old family curse. However, the film can be divided into two parts: the first focusing on the excavation of a century-old grave belonging to an affluent family harboring a sinister secret. Second, unveiling the horrifying truth concealed within, which has its roots in Korean-Japanese history and tales of Japanese colonization during World War II.

Renowned actor Choi Min Sik, of ‘Oldboy’ fame, portrays a feng shui expert overseeing the grave-digging operation. With an understated yet captivating performance, his subtle reactions speaking volumes.

One of the film’s highlight is its music. Along with dark color tones, it crafts a foreboding atmosphere that envelops viewers from the very beginning. The soundtrack serves as a haunting accompaniment to the unfolding horrors, heightening the sense of unease and drawing audiences deeper into the film’s ominous world.

Making a horror film is definitely not an easy task, thousand fails in its attempt to hit a bull’s eye. ‘Exhuma’ too starts with a promise and comes close but, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

In conclusion, while ‘Exhuma’ may not be a perfect shot, it is undeniably a shot worth taking. For fans of the genre seeking a spine-tingling cinematic experience, ‘Exhuma’ promises to deliver thrills and chills in equal measure.

Pankaj Madaan

A filmmaker and a screenwriter known for his comprehensive knowledge of world cinema and insightful commentary on the Hindi film industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.