The Drudgeon reviews Howling

Howlingaka Ha-Wool-Ling (Original Title)
114 min., 2012
Written by Ha Yoo
Directed by Ha Yoo
Language: Korean
My rating: ★

This is a great movie.  I only give this movie a low rating because it’s not horror.

* * *

Our movie begins with a man getting into a car and a bum sleeping.  The man starts the car and takes a swig of water, suddenly he bursts into flames.  The bum wakes and sees this.  We then jump to some detectives working on the case.  We meet a detective named Jo Sang-Gil (Song Kang-Ho) who is very worn down by his job because he is always overlooked and ignored.  As it turns out there is a new recruit who is being assigned to him and it’s a female named Cha Eun-Young (Lee Na-Young).  The case is left to those two because everyone else is “busy” and they think it’s a simple suicide.  After some work, Jo and Young figure out that there is more going on than originally thought.  Including a underage prostitution ring and a new drug dealing ring.  As they find out more Jo decides not to tell the Chief (Shin Jung-Geun) but when another man is attacked and has the same bite marks as the burn victim the Chief realizes more is going on and moves them to checking into dog trainers.  While doing some research they find out about a half dog and half wolf that is extremely hard to train, but that seems to be the beast that is doing the killing.  Who would train a dog to kill humans and why?

Now I’ve seen Song Kang-Ho in a few movies and this guy has never let me down with his acting and this movie is no exception.  Everything he does just seems completely believable and it doesn’t matter what emotion he is feeling, because whatever it is you can really feel it.  One of the things that he does best in this movie is his expression of dislike and trust that he has with Young.  He flip flops back and forth between them, but every time he does it doesn’t feel odd, it just makes you want to know more about what is going through his head.  That being said about Song Kang-Ho, I was really nervous about him working with Lee No-Young, someone I’d never heard of before, but she really surprised me.  Throughout the movie you get this feel that she is tough and can handle herself, but every time one of the other detectives treats her like shit, she just takes it with a wounded puppy dog look.  You really feel bad for her and wonder why she doesn’t do or say anything.  She is great at playing both sides of the character.

There are very few effects in the movie but what they do use is really great.  The one that surprised me the most was the use of the dog.  I have yet to determine is if the dog that is attacking people, biting them in the neck, is a real dog or a combination of real and CG.  Whatever it is, it’s great.  One thing that bothers me in most movies is when a dog (when using a real dog) is attacking someone; it’s almost always attacking a person’s arm.  Now I understand that that is how and where they train dogs to attack but even when a dog is rabid or wild it still attacks that one spot.  So after about six movies that do that I just got bored.  This movie really takes dog attacking to a new level.  This dog goes for the neck and it looks incredibly painful.  Nice use of the dog(s) and boy are those some pretty dogs.

So I have done nothing but gush about this movie, so why did I give it a skull.  As I said in my tag, it’s not horror.  As much as I love the original animated Transformers movie, I would be able to give it a good rating on a horror review sigte.  So in the end this is a great movie with great acting, awesome effects and a very interesting story, but again it’s not horror.  Outside of horror I’d give it four stars.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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