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Brrrr, atmospherically just so perfect. Sure, it’s familiar territory and we even have the two opposing cops setup. Despite that, the film feels fresh and engaging. I love the opening sequence with the beautiful scenery and the kid mocking the cop who is there to uncover the corpse and investigate a murder. For one thing, the whole film has a ton of local flavor and I felt like the film gave me a good sense of what this town is like. I think it was 1StrongOpinion who mentioned in the Best Korean Film of 2003 thread (which is where I discovered this film) that he found the comedy strain out of place in the movie. But I actually really liked that quirky sense of humor that the film has. Plus, the film sort of loses this comedic vein towards the last third and that adds to the sense of building frustration that the cops are feeling by that point. It’s tonally really great. Great performances too. I was amazed at how much of a sense of suspense the film has despite the fact that we’ve all watched so many police procedurals / serial-killer films. So much so that I could feel my pulse quicken on several occasions during the film and even in that ending scene when the cop comes back years later and looks under that concrete plank, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep looking despite knowing that there can’t possibly be anything under it now. The key characters all feel completely human and neither of them ever feels heroic nor do either of them come across as a caricature. And all that stuff about the way the media reports these investigations and the people in the town perceive the cops feels totally authentic. Plus, I loved the ending.

Grade: B+

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