Starring Kim Moo-Yul, Song Ji-Hyo
Directed by Sohn Won-Pyung
Kim Moo-Yul plays Seo-Jin, a recent widower trying to track down the hit-and-run driver responsible for his wife’s death. He turns to hypnotherapy to help trace her last moments before the tragedy. Amid his investigation, a stranger (Song Ji-Hyo) turns up — great timing! — claiming to be his younger sister, Yu-Jin, who went missing 25 years ago at a carnival.
Seo-Jin is suspicious of Yu-Jin but before he can run a thorough background check, she’s already cozying up with his parents. And the next thing you know, Yu-Jin moves in with them and starts calling the shots around the house — she has the place redecorated, the housekeeper replaced, and mum and dad wrapped around her finger. Even Seo-Jin’s daughter has taken a shine to her. It’s as if Yu-Jin has cast a spell on them. (Er, hold that thought…)
Oh, it gets better (or worse): Yu-Jin manages to get the family to turn on an increasingly paranoid Seo-Jin. (Anytime you have a protagonist with psychological issues, you can be sure that his mental state will be used against him.)
The directorial debut of film critic and novelist Sohn Won-Pyung starts out as a murder mystery and then switches into the lane of a Parasite-like home-invasion thriller. But when Seo-Jin discovers the link between his wife and his sister’s disappearance, the movie spits and sputters in a hurried and muddled third act.
Is Intruder “the most intense mystery thriller of 2020”, as the promos touted? From far it. But it does have its intriguing moments. As the titular gate-crasher, Song — currently on the Netflix rom-com Was It Love? — shows off her sinister side; she has this creepy look that imbues the movie with uneasy supernatural vibe. . (**1/2)
Photos: Clover Films