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Issue #150a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES March 10th, 2003

Say Yes
(2001; Hwang Ki Sung Films/Cinema Service/MVP Venture Capital)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Kim Jung-hyun (Kim Ju-hyuk) has just sold his first novel and, to celebrate, purchases a new car. He and wife Yoon-hee (THE SOUL GUARDIANS' Chu Sang-mi) decide to travel from Seoul into the countryside for a vacation but, following a brief rest stop, Jung-hyun accidentally backs into a pedestrian. The quiet, malevolent-looking man (NOWHERE TO HIDE's Park Jung-hoon) is not hurt but asks that he be allowed to join the couple on their trip; the guilt-ridden Jung-hyun reluctantly agrees. A few minutes into the trip, The Rider (who does not reveal his name) states that he plans to kill the couple...but then claims he was merely joking. However, when a rock comes crashing through their hotel room window that evening, the mysterious man's threat seems dangerously real. The Rider proceeds to involve the couple in a pair of automotive close calls, a way of provoking the writer into assaulting him in front of several witnesses. With Jung-hyun in police custody and facing prison time, The Rider offers another deal: he will drop the charges, if the pair allow him to accompany them for the next three days. With no other alternatives, they agree. Privately, The Rider informs Jung-hyun that he will continue to torment him and his wife until Jung-hyun finally has the courage to kill him. When that is not achieved, the madman decides to up the ante by taking the couple prisoner and stating that he will brutally torture Jung-hyun until the latter finally begs him to take Yoon-hee's life.

As can be gleaned from that synopsis, SAY YES is essentially the South Korean answer to Robert Harmon's THE HITCHER (1986) but it also mixes in elements from THE VANISHING (1988) and SE7EN (1995) for good measure. In the final third, we even get a bit of THE TERMINATOR (1984), with the emotionless (and now facially disfigured) villain trying to run down his target using a stolen transport truck. It can be argued that Rutger Hauer's antagonist in THE HITCHER possessed some kind of supernatural powers that constantly allowed him to get the upper hand by doing things that were beyond the realm of possibility. Park Jung-hoon's killer never displays such abilities but the storyline still allows him to perform the same sort of feats and, after a while, the lapses in logic become too numerous to forgive. There are also a few hoary cliches of an older vintage (like the small town garage that has to send out for parts, causing a simple repair to take hours). While it is disheartening to see the Hollywood horror formula becoming so omnipresent, SAY YES does succeed in one sense: director Kim Sung-hong is allowed to take the movie to the limit, unrestrained by the "R" rating THE HITCHER and SE7EN were obliged to obtain. As a result, the final act is intensely violent and unpleasant, thereby gifting a derivative and mostly ineffectual work with the sort of shocking climax that leaves viewers talking. While this does make SAY YES more potent as horror, it ultimately does little to make it a better movie.

Cover art courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Chu Sang-mi (left) and Kim Ju-hyuk. Image courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Park Jung-hoon. Image courtesy 20th Century Fox.
20th Century Fox #23185 (South Korea)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Sync Sound Korean Language

Optional English and Korean Subtitles

24 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With (Tiny) Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.79:1)

Coded for ALL Regions*

NTSC Format

104 Minutes

Contains brutal violence, horror, torture, brief nudity, and mild sexuality

*The disc face and keep case display the Region 3 symbol but the DVD is actually region free.

DVD menu courtesy 20th Century Fox.

South Korea: 18


The anamorphic transfer looks terrific, with an extremely clean image, vivid hues, and deep blacks. Slight vertical jitter is apparent in a few spots, evidently a fault of the source material. Only the original sync sound Korean version is included and it is a suitably bombastic 5.1 mix with good shock effects (crashing thunder, shattering glass, squealing brakes, slamming doors, LOUD telephones, etc) and a very nice sound field. A slightly disruptive layer change occurs at 1:22:16. Supplements (none of which have English translation) include the theatrical trailer, brief interviews with the director and the three leads, a "Making Of..." program (22 minutes) consisting of behind-the-scenes footage, and cast/director profiles.

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