Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
8th night initially offers an interesting premise in the form of a monk’s struggle to prevent Earth from becoming a hell because an evil force awakens after 2500 years. Even the monks were promised to perform exorcisms.
It’s an interesting promise because it’s rare for a cult or South Korean horror thriller to feature a monk trying to exorcise a demon. Expectations were high when they saw this film.
The film opens with a story 2,500 years ago. At that time, the monsters opened the gates of hell to bring suffering to humans. The Buddha appeared against him and took the two eyes, Red and Black, which were the source of the monster’s power.
The two eyes are separated. One eye is hidden at the west end and the other eye at the east end. Between the two locations there is a desert to a steep cliff so that the two will never be together again. Each eye is watched by a guard.
Trouble starts when Red tries to get back up. It takes eight days to wake up and keep a guard between life and death to prevent the dark forces from awakening.
Once done, The 8th Night looks more likely to be a drama and murder mystery film than a cult or exorcism as promised. This can be seen from the various narratives that appear to prevent Red and Black from uniting and rising again.
Not to mention the narrative style of this film which is quite time-consuming. The introduction of the character which is carried out in stages is complemented by flashbacks, then the story of the Red jumping from one chapter to another, has taken up more than half the duration of this film.
Spice of tension emerged from the action of Kim Ho-tae, played by Park Hae-joon. Ho-tae is a Violent Crimes Unit detective who tries to solve the mystery of the mysterious deaths of several people in a week.
Park Hae-joon’s actions in making various decisions made by Ho-tae managed to trigger my emotions as a viewer. Exactly the same as he did when he played Lee Tae-oh in the drama The World of the Married.
The 8th Night Review considered that Park Hae-joon’s actions in making various decisions made by Ho-tae succeeded in triggering the audience’s emotions. (doc. Netflix)
To be honest, the storyline only started getting interesting an hour before the film ended. The promise of the trailer begins to be fulfilled. A cult narrative begins to adorn the story game, although the exorcism seems to be just a patch before it reaches the end.
The 8th Night seemed to end the story so quickly after building a long story at the beginning. So, my expectations fell freely and felt that this film was no longer as interesting as it was in the beginning. Not even scary or climax, to me.
However, the element of drama is very thick in this film. The audience may be fascinated and may repeat certain passages as layer upon layer of mystery begins to unfold. In addition, each character is also explained in detail from the beginning to the end of the film.
The interesting thing about The 8th Night also comes from the family chemistry shown by Lee Sung-min and Nam Da-reum in this film. This film is the reunion of the two actors after starring in the drama Memory in 2016.
With the experience of watching both eyeballs want to fuse for two hours and five minutes, The 8th Night makes me want to call this film a mystery drama rather than a horror let alone cult.
The movie 8th Night can be watched starting July 2, 2021 on Netflix.