Korean Movie Review : Door Lock –– A Suspenseful, Bone Chilling Thriller
A thriller that begins with a murder incident with a trace of a stranger entering the house of Kyung Min who lives alone in the one room.
A Sneak Peek Into “Door Lock”
A woman in her early 30s, working as a teller in a bank, and is living by herself in a studio apartment. Did you find anything strange about that sentence? No? That’s because in today’s modern world, finding a lifetime companion is slowly but gradually getting to be more work than it’s worth. It’s a whole ordeal of dates, spending money, only to realize that you’re to a good fit for each other. Not to mention with our 9-5 job that is not only demanding but also draining mentally and physically, more and more people have decided to withdraw into themselves.
It is the same for Kyung-Min. She wakes up early every morning, goes to work and come home late. Kyung-Min lives by herself in an office building in Seoul, deeming that it’s safer to live in as there’s a receptionist as well as people leaving late at night.
One night however, after she got home after work, she found her door lock cover left open with traces of fingerprints left on the keypad. Seeing this, Kyung-Min was immediately paranoid and promptly wiped off the fingerprints on the door lock pad and changed the password. Once she re-entered her apartment and relocked her door, she felt somewhat safer. Having properly unwinded from the day and now getting ready for bed, she suddenly heard her doorknob jiggles.
Sure, at first one might chalk it to drunk people who got their apartment numbers wrong. However, this person didn’t seem to give up after a couple tries. If anything, he got even more aggressive with the knob. Jiggling it almost with the frustration of someone being denied entry. Startled by this, Kyung-Min rushed to call the police. Yet, the cops only showed annoyance and no sympathy towards the obviously frightened Kyung-Min.
Even after she showed proof of a cigarette bud in front of her door, asking for the police to do a saliva test on it, the police still refused to trust her. Realizing that she’s no longer safe in her own home and police were not to be trusted did a number on her mental health. Despite that, she still tried to continue on living life following her own routine and tried to ignore it as a one time thing. It is not long however, before things escalated to a whole another level that not even the police had anticipated before.
3 Words to Sum Up “Door Lock”
Terrifying, Lack-luster, Realistic
After Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, your girl have went all in with Korean movies. That is truly something about Korean movies that is just so different that your normal American movie. There is this kind of simplicity to it that I really enjoy, not to say that I don’t enjoy western movies. I do, it’s just that watching western movies gets predictable after a while. So I like to mix it up with asian movies every now and then.
With that said, a word of warning. Door Lock is not for the faint hearted. If you are anything like me, and you can’t stand the thought of blood and violence, you might want to steer clear of this one. There have been a dozen of times where I had to push myself to keep my eyes glued to the screen just so I can finish it and see how it ends.
Door Lock is not an easy movie to watch, and that’s because of how real it was. It tells a story of a young woman being stalked by a guy who snuck into her room, uses her bathroom, cuddled with her while she’s asleep, all without her knowing or consent. And what’s worse is that, how are we to know that that’s really all that the stalker wants? Some free showers and cuddle session? What if he’s planning to kidnap her as well? Rape her? Sell her limbs and make money from her?
Not to sound like a snob, but women already worry about their safety enough as it is. We’re already very vigilant of our surroundings and the people we talk to. Being “on” for hours and hours at a time where we had to constantly be aware of any sudden threats are no easy job. To think that even after all that, once we have come home to our one safe space that’s job is to protect us from the world also isn’t safe… I think it would drive anyone insane.
Sure, there has been some talks about women and their safety. More so after the incident that happened with a woman in South Korea who’s stalked. However despite all the talks, there just never seem to be a real action taken towards women’s safety and making them feeling more comfortable in living their day to day life. It never fails to make my blood runs cold to think about how unsafe this world is for women.
If you don’t already know, the female lead in Door Lock –– Gong Hyo Jin –– is a well known and well respected actress in South Korea. She has been known as someone who’s versatile in portraying her characters and also a very good actress.
I don’t know if this only applies to me, but I feel like it’s very hard to connect with her characters every time I watch a movie starring Gong Hyo Jin. I love her dramas, maybe that’s because there’s more screen time and episodes to warm up to me. On top of that, I always find her not really bringing her 100% to her movies. Her energy always seemed quite off whenever I see her on the big screen.
In Door Lock, she played a quiet and reserved woman. Which she played well, however, there have been some instances where I was confused by her choice of action. In one scene in the movie, she was terrified and worried. Understandable, since she just found signs that someone has been trying to break into her apartment. She reported it to the police, but of course, the police chose to not believe her and told her that she’s just being annoying. Then after that, that’s it. She just went from : someone’s trying to break into my house, to : oh, okay then I guess if the police don’t believe me. I’ll continue to live here and be scared for my life.
I mean, sure, this girl is not the most famous nor does she have a lot of friends. But she does have one that she’s quite close with. I don’t get how she didn’t ask to stay with her friend while she figure this stalking problem out? I’d assume it was common sense. Because if anyone was trying to break into my apartment, you best believe that I won’t be back there until the stalker is in jail.
SOUTH KOREAN POLICE OFFICER
Not sure how true to real life this movie is, but I find the police officers and detectives in this movie laughable. The girl in the movie, Kyung-Min, was obviously scared out of her balls. Yet, the police officer continued to relentlessly tell the girl that she was being irrational and being a bother to them.
I mean boy, your job is to protect the civilians. You’re literally being paid to listen, help and keep these innocent civilians safe. But no, you gotta go and act high and mighty and tell the poor girl that she’s just being annoying. I honestly lost it when there was a murder scene at the poor girl’s apartment when she wasn’t home, and the police accused her of being the murderer.
We all get that the story-writer, director or whoever wanted to make the movie longer by adding more suspense or whatnot into the movie, but this is not the way to go.
All in all, the whole movie was good, but quite predictable. I mean, Door Lock was a good movie, I’d recommend people to at least watch it once for the thriller factor, but I sure wouldn’t be raving and screaming for people to watch it like I did Train to Busan, for example.
The were a lot of instances where I got confused to our main female lead’s choice of action, but honestly, in the same situation, most of us would probably react the same way. Altogether, I really enjoy how realistic Door Lock was. It showed the viewers the side of the world that we usually tried to keep it out of mind and out of sight. However it’s there, despite how hard we tried to keep it hidden and locked away from our knowledge.
The world –– despite how bad this might sound –– was and is build for men. Sure it has gotten better in the past few decades, but we still have a long way to go until women could feel totally safe and comfortable being out and about by herself without having to constantly worry about her safety all the time.