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Tell Me Something

A movie directed by Chang Yoon-hyun

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Tell Me Something – 1999

  • Jun 12, 2002
Pros: good acting, script, cinematography

Cons: bloody and gruesome, subtitles

The Bottom Line: Extremely well done

This darkly disturbing but well made thriller is entirely in Korean, subtitled in English. This was the one and only draw back of the movie for me as I have trouble reading the subs while watching the movie at the same time. Especially when it is a psychological thriller, as this was.

Whisper the words I want to hear, tell me something
There is a serial killer loose, which is discovered in a highly nasty way. A couple of black garbage bags are found under a viaduct in Seoul and inside are a few ‘remains’. Unfortunately, when the coroner starts assembling the body, he discovers this is not one person, but multiple persons. Naturally, the bad thing is there must be more bags somewhere with more parts.

These are well done dismemberments, leading Detective Oho (Han Suk-gyu) to believe the perp is well schooled in anatomy and has access to surgical equipment. Apparently random victims, there seems to be no pattern to develop a theory until Det. Oho contacts a relative of one victim, Su-yeon (Shim Eun-ha), who knew not only the victim but two other murdered men – intimately. Sounds like revenge killing to me.

All the roads lead to you, you are the center of my universe
Det. Oho focuses his attention on Su-yeon because she is the connecting link. Most importantly, she seems to have someone that is so obsessed with her, it is possible they are eliminating her ex-lovers just to make the path clear for them.

They stay so focused, they lose sight of obvious clues that can lead them to the killer and in the end they are as clueless as they were at the beginning. However, the story is resolved, the true killer is brought to light and Oho is left with his jaw hanging open and egg on his mug.

We lure you, tempt you, tease you, and then send you home
This was a highly graphic movie with a good deal of gore involved and gallons of blood everywhere. At times it can be a bit overwhelming but at all times it seems much more realistic than a ton of American made gore flicks. The major thing was the killer did not kill his victims before dismemberment, only sedating them. You do not find this out until later and when the first one took place I pondered the idea that I didn’t think blood flowed like this from a corpse. Then I found out they were alive when cut, problem solved.

The cinematography by Sung-Bok Kim was fresh, clear and brilliantly done, even though a good deal of the movie was dark and foreboding and hidden in shadows. Camera angles at no time let you have a hint of the true killer.

I had no experience with these actors before, yet I found them quite good. For one thing, the Korean language was just so soft and fluid you found it hard to associate the words with the gore on the screen. The actors themselves seemed quiet and unassuming as well, almost innocent. I was very pleased with the entire production.

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful faces and the pleasing sounds though, this is a very brutal movie. Rated R for bloody violence, gruesome images, language & nudity.

Written by Youn-Hyun Chang, Eun-Ah In, Eun-Jeong Kim, Su-Chang Kyong, & Hye-Weon Shim. Directed by Youn-Hyun Chang.

Starring Suk-kyu Han, Eun-ha Shim, Hang-Seon Jang, Jeong-Ah Yeom, Seok-Hwan, Cheol-Ho Park, Jun-Sang Yu, and Hwan-Jun Lee.


The Oracle says: Eun-ha Shim has a Bacon number of 4.
Eun-ha Shim was in Interview (2000) with Eun-yong Yang
Eun-yong Yang was in KT (2002) with Ken Mitsuishi
Ken Mitsuishi was in Thin Red Line, The (1998) with Elias Koteas
Elias Koteas was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon

Department of Computer Science
School of Engineering, University of Virginia


Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


A box-office smash in its native South Korea, TELL ME SOMETHING is a grisly crime thriller and a sly satire of the casually inept South Korean Police. Han Suk-kyu stars as Lieutenant Cho, a down and almost out cop under investigation for corruption and haunted by the death of his mother. Put in charge of the investigation of a series of gruesome murders in which skillfully dismembered corpses are being found in garbage bags around Seoul, Cho's detective work quickly leads him to an icy but beautiful woman named Suyeon Chae who has been involved with each of the victims. Carefully guarding her memories and, most probably, information crucial to identifying the killer, Suyeon both charms and infuriates the weary Lieutenant Cho. <br> <br> Atmospheric, graphically violent, and darkly humorous, TELL ME SOMETHING is a riveting thriller in the vein of David Fincher's SEVEN. This film, along with 2000's CHUNHYANG, LIES, and NOWHERE TO HIDE, marks the international resurgence of South Korean cinema and proves th...
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Genre: Horror
Release Date: November 13, 1999
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: May 14, 2002
Runtime: 1hr 58min
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