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A South Korean thriller based on a true story, Memories of Murder comes across like a hybrid of Silence of the Lambs and One False Move. A pair of rural detectives, Park (Song Kang-ho) and Jo (Kim Roe-ha), chafe when a Seoul detective named Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) gets involved in their big case: Korea's first known serial killer, who's killed two women on rainy nights. Seo is dismayed by the rural cops' interrogation methods, which consist of beating suspects until they confess--and they aren't above planting evidence or "helping" a suspect remember the details of his crime. While Park and Jo seek clues from fortune tellers and magic charms, Seo struggles to build a case from hard evidence and the forensic approaches only just starting to take hold (the movie is set in 1986). Shots of the victims and jolting moments of violence give Memories of Murder a dose of gruesomeness, but the movie has more on its mind that exploitation. Visually stylish and psychologically astute, Memories of Murder is as much a portrait of cultural change as a serial killer mystery.

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PALM3114 Memories of Murder DVD (2003/Bong Joon-Ho/South Korea) $24.98 $22.49