Review: Tell Me Something (1999)

Directed by:
Cast: ,

Distributed in Australia by:

This Korean serial killer flick slides scalpel through flesh in the opening credits. It’s basically a popcorn movie, assuming you like your popcorn with extra gristle, further proof that “subtitles” does not mean “arthouse”. It’s highly commercial, and if it wasn’t in Korean it might star Brad Pitt and be now playing in a multiplex near you (actually, if it did star Brad Pitt, he’d be a candidate for a perfect 6-part amputation – this is for Legends of the Fall – slice – and this is for Seven Years in Tibet – shlorrp – and this is for Meet Joe Black – saw saw saw saw…)

So the plot then, and Tell Me Something has either plenty or not enough: dismembered corpses are turning up in black plastic garbage bags (usually in the rain, ‘cos rain looks cool). The cantankerous cigarette-stealing coroner lays ’em out on the slab and quickly discovers that the parts don’t match. There’s a mix ‘n’ match killer loose in Seoul, and the case is headed up by Inspector Cho, fresh from a bribery scandal that nearly got him debadged and tossed onto the rainy streets. IDing the bodies is a problem to begin with (“No arms, no fingerprints”) but a dental breakthrough gets a next of kin on one of the stiffs: Suyeon Chae, a woman with flaxen hair, dark eyes, and a refusal to remember the past. This is especially frustrating when it is revealed that all of the dead are ex-boyfriends of hers. The likeliest suspect is the man currently stalking her – the chase is on.

It’s right around here that the film slows to a crawl, after the initial body-discovering bonanza, and proceeds to amble about for the next half hour with nothing but the odd and incredibly gratuitous mutilation. Then it all cuts loose in the last half hour with revelation after revelation – at the time you go “wow!”, but, like most twisty turny serial killer films, the second the film stops and you actually *think* about what just happened, you go “huh?….”

In short, it’s a reasonable enough serial chiller with a great start, a thrilling finish but a boring torso. At the least it’ll give you some ideas about disposing of your ex (but please don’t tell the jury you read that on Heroic Cinema dot com, cheers).

7 Exploding Black Plastic Garbage Bags out of 10.
Bookmark the permalink.