Midnight FM – A review
I imagine most people would turn their noses if I asked them to watch a South Korean film with me, I sense some sort of misconception about their culture. The moment you say it is Korean the average Joe’s mind will run away with misinformed connotations, leading them to expect an outdated and cheesy rip off of Hollywood. People can’t help imagining ‘Eastern’ cultures to be culturally or technologically inferior, and unfortunately that leads to East Asian film gaining a miniscule market in the UK. It’s a great shame, because they have just as much to offer as anyone else (Just as I concluded in my review of ‘The Host’ previously).
Midnight FM, to those of you who will spare the time to watch it is an action film at heart, but it carries a post film noir flavour that can be felt through the gritty nature of the film. It’s not quite a snuff film like ‘Psycho’ or ‘Saw’, but if you combined them with something like the film adaptation of ‘Enduring Love’ or anything else that throws an obsessive stalker into the mix, well you get the picture. That’s essentially the basic synopsis of this film, a deluded fan refuses to accept his beloved midnight DJ is quitting, so he goes after her and her family. It maybe a simple plotline but it works, and it leaves plenty of space for the creators to flesh out the feel however they choose.
The villain was well portrayed, a psychotic obsessive but a cunning opponent through and through. Ji Tae Yu (also seen in ‘Old Boy’) pulled the role off, as did Soo Ae playing the innocent radio DJ, who is seemingly helpless to help her family (or herself for that matter). Naturally some sort of equilibrium is restored, I can’t say I was kept thoroughly on edge all the way through, but the atmosphere of the film was perfectly crafted. The moments of suspense were placed exactly where they were needed, to get the most out of such a stock genre.
The idea of the hostage situation running alongside the radio broadcast was intriguing, it gave it a standout twist. Yet I feel it wasn’t executed to its full potential. Still, this film is thoroughly watchable and I recommend it to those of you out there with a taste for the tensed up thriller. Sadly Midnight FM is another overlooked film; it’s modern and smart, action packed and gripping, yet the moment people realise it is a ‘foreign film’ they simply don’t want to know. Sometimes I think people don’t realise what they are missing…