Sunday, March 27

Special Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2016

Karaoke Crazies

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2016 | South Korea | 106 minutes
Director: Kim Sang-Chan
Screenwriters: Park Ji-Hong
Cast: Lee Moon-Sik, Bae So-Eun, Kim Na-Mi, Bang Jun-Ho

Isolated, countryside business-owner Sung-Wook struggles to draw a regular crowd to his bar, Addiction Karaoke. When he posts a help wanted sign, an early 20-something gamer girl named Ha-Suck shuffles in to fill the role of live-in singing helper.

She doesn’t say much, shower much, or show even the vaguest hint of enthusiasm for much, beyond countless hours spent playing StarCraft during her downtime. The two form a stunted and strained co-dependency as they slurp ramen and cater to the precious few patrons who come through their doors.

Initially, Ha-Suck’s antisocial ways are not a hit with the customers. After much moaning and pleading from Sung-Wook, she eventually finds her groove and starts drawing in a string of regulars. Curiously, men keep coming for the still-dour Ha-Suck, with grins on their faces. Mystified and pleased, Sung-Wook observes the uptick in business and hires Na-Ju, a bubbly bright foil to Ha-Sook’s solemnity, as an additional singing helper.

Competitive by nature, Na-Ju starts to attract a clientele of her own, but can never seem to top Ha-Suck’s incomprehensible popularity. Everything seems to be turning a corner for the previously miserable little bar until a serial killer starts treating nearby karaoke bars as a hunting ground.

Sang-chan Kim returns to filmmaking after a nearly nine year hiatus with a sophomore feature that’s a delightfully surreal and ingenious polymorph of comedy, thriller, and psycho killer (qu’est-ce que c’est?).

– Nicole McControversy