Kôji Shiraishi’s 2014 film A Record of Sweet Murder takes its viewers on a wild ride through South Korea. Sangjoon (Je-wook Yeon), a mentally unstable man convinces journalist Soyeon (Kkobbi Kim) and her Japanese cameraman to meet with him. The cameraman (played by director Kôji Shiraishi is instructed to record not only Sangjoon’s confessions of killing 25 people but his plans of resurrection. “A divine power” has confided in Sangjoon convincing him that if he kills 27 innocent people that not only will the innocent come back to life, but so will his friend Yoonjin who has also passed on.
A Record of Sweet Murder is, in my opinion, a brilliant concept. I have always been a big fan of Asian cinema, especially the Horror genre. In South Korea filmmakers are not afraid to push the envelope and go places others wouldn’t dare to. There's a reason there have been so many Americanized remakes of Asian Horror films. They are executed brutally, but beautifully.
Typically when there is a murderer in a film and his motives are questionable at best, you don’t find yourself sympathizing with the character. That’s where this film differs. Sangjoon truly believes that what he is doing is the right thing. He doesn’t know how his friend is going to be resurrected, but he does believe that it is possible if he does as he’s told. He explains that you can’t explain everything in outer space but surely it’s out there. I feel like this logic is something a lot of people can relate to.
I absolutely love the way Sangjoon maps out his victims. He has a particular style and has mapped out everything down to the very last detail. This is a great addition especially to the plot and character development.
I really appreciate the simplicity in this film. I think with any other subject matter it would be far too risky and fall flat. Luckily, because of the nature of the story it works really well. The actors do such a great job at portraying their characters that there was no need for high budget effects.
I give A Record of Sweet Murder a solid 7 out of 10. I really enjoyed the writing and the characters, but I felt there was more that could have been done with the story. Although, I didn’t give the film a "perfect" score this time around, I think it’s important to note that I highly suggest watching it, especially if you’re a fan of Asian horror, like myself!
A Record of Sweet Murder is now available on Blu-ray and DVD from Unearthed Films.