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  Tell Me Something  
  Year: 1999
Han Suk-Kyu and Shim Eun-Ha
  Director: Chan Yoon-Hyun  
  Cast: Han Suk-Kyu, Shim Eun-Ha, Jang Hang-Seon, Yeom Jeong-Ah  
  The Skinny: A serial killer is targeting the ex-boyfriends of a shy girl in this gory, stylish but sometimes predictable thriller. The detective who is assigned to the case must find out all he can about the girl before it is too late.  
     When body parts begin to surface in Seoul, problematic Detective Cho (Han Suk-Kyu) is assigned to the case. It is soon discovered that all the victims have one thing in common: they've all dated and been dumped by a beautiful mysterious girl named Chae (Shim Eun-Ha). Chae is put under police protection but doesn't like to talk about her past. This makes the job of solving the case and catching the killer all the more difficult for Detective Cho. Slowly, Chae opens up to Cho, revealing several traumatic childhood events that may or may not be the key to the identity of the killer. For his troubles, Detective Cho is marked as the next victim and must solve the case before it is too late.
     Touted as Korea's answer to Seven, Tell Me Something really has less in common with that film than it does with Dario Argento's Italian "giallos" of the seventies and eighties. Like those films, the killings are shot beautifully, with the gloved hands of the killer sometimes painting the screen red with artistic gore. The superb electronic score sounds like a very mellow version of the music of "Goblin", who scored all of Argento's best work.
     Another film Tell Me Something seems to borrow from is Basic Instinct. There are several scenes where the protagonist conducts detailed investigations alone, only to find a clue that confuses him even more. His journey is reminscent of the one taken by Michael Douglas' Nick Curran, though the frustration in Tell Me Something is not as palpably felt as in Basic Instinct. Something about Cho's character feels lacking, and the film is unable to pull the viewer deeply into his world. He's really kind of bland and at times the movie drags because of it.
     Storywise, there are lots of characters who could be the killer although the film is not well written enough to be a complete surprise. It's not a total shock when the killer's identity is finally revealed, unlike in Argento's Deep Red, which had a similar plot device. The ending is well done, but it's just a little predictable to anyone familiar with this genre of film, no matter what the country of origin. Overall, Tell Me Something is an enjoyable film with some really good moments, but it's not groundbreaking by any means. (Magicvoice 2003)
  Availability: DVD (USA)
Kino Home Video
Region 1 NTSC
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen