Rating: 4 out of 5
A murder mystery wrapped in a ghost story, Arang is one of those films where you can take from it what you want – it could be supernatural or it could be a crime story. Because of this, the film gives the viewer the chance to make up their own mind about what really happened.
The movie follows a police detective and her rookie partner as they investigate a series of strange deaths, all young men who knew each other about ten years earlier. The men are apparently being stalked by a Yurei bent on revenge because the four men raped her and killed her boyfriend. However, as the movie nears its climax we learn that what the men saw as a haunting might have had more mundane causes, and in the end it’s unclear if they were really haunted or if it was merely the effects of the poison they unknowingly ingested.
A story of revenge versus justice, Arang fits neatly into the gap between psychological thriller and ghost story. There is a bit of procedural cop show to the film, a good twist ending, and more than enough spooky scenes to make the movie very enjoyable. My only complaint was that there was a bit of a plot snag – without revealing too much, the men should have recognized someone from their past, especially considering the connection, but failed to do so several times.
The movie is worth a watch, especially for the sudden reveal near the end.