Film Review: “The Suffered” – You want solutions and some healing? Ain’t none here

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Review by: Mut Asheru

Korean film THE SUFFERED is a human drama that tackles sexual abuse and childhood trauma suffered at the hands of family. The aftermath of said trauma and abuse, results in mentally unstable individuals who are set to crash into each other as they get older with terrifying results. You want solutions and some healing? Better go see another film THE SUFFERED directed by No Jin-soo only serves to warn of the catastrophic effects of abuse with a movie that crams sex, murder, mystery, action, and homicidal tendencies into 91 minutes.

Gain visits her critically ill father, and gets close to a man named Dokyung.

It’s an engaging film that dishes up more questions than answers. Therein lies its fault. The script drops us off in the adult lives of Gain and Dokyung with some early childhood flashbacks thrown in here and there. We don’t get to see them growing up and coping (or trying to cope) with their trauma. Were there any caring adults around in their lives at any time? Did any school teachers or friends notice their homicidal, suicidal tendencies and try to get them help? Were there any counselors? Did Dokyung start off killing small animals? Noooo he went straight into murder…a kid murders an adult and leaves no trace…really? A bit hard to swallow for those of us who like our stories wrapped up all nice and neat like. The script tries to explain things away in a way that doesn’t really make sense to my Western brain.

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There’s a lot to tackle here. The result is a fragmented story that doesn’t completely gel BUT what is presented on screen is wholly watchable and engrossing. It’s a simple premise but its path to completion appears to be crafted for shock value.

With their motivation being “you were abused now you want to kill people” the actors did a fine job of selling “we can’t help that we turned out this way” and making you hope that you don’t run into people like this in life…ever! I must interject that I might have totally been Dokyung’s willing victim as he’s one of the most darned sexiest heartless murderers I may have ever seen on film. It’s hard to be against him when he makes my insides do flip flops. Note to director No… next time choose a not-so-cute actor as your crazy. Otherwise, the effect you’re going for is just lost on us hot and bothered types.

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“The Suffered” is your typical normal gal /guy by day and rabid murder, rapist and endless victim by night tale with nice casting and tight direction. Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject no matter how you frame and film it. Director No’s film is a cautionary tale of what becomes of such abuse.

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