It takes a hell of a gimmick to make me sit through a horror film these days and Film Movement/RAM Releasing’s latest indie shocker MOEBIUS certainly has a really sharp one working quite well in its favor. Director Kim Ki-Duk’s unsettling, darkly comic chiller packs in just under 125 minutes of edge of your seat nastiness thanks to a rather disturbed family unit with a few nastier (and literal) twists of the knife along the way to a nicely weird (and a bit ambiguous, perhaps?) finale.
You want somewhat inappropriate sex, bits of nudity, violence, blood (but not too much of it), leg-closing moments galore and a good reason to curl up into a ball under the covers? Well, you’ve got that here and then some. Oh, by the way… that gimmick I mentioned? The entire film has not a single line of dialog…
There’s trouble afoot in one not so normal household where the father (Jae-hyeon Jo) is wrapped up in an an affair with
his sexy store clerk neighbor (Eun-woo Lee) while his knowing and very pissed off wife (also Eun-woo Lee!) smoulders away with rage. While the pair silently and violently fight as his cell phone rings, their son (Young-ju Seo) quietly soaks it all in as it happens., even coming across his dad and his mistress having dinner in a restaurant and later, having sex in the family car. This messed up family unit gets even more, er… dicey after an attempted castration on one of the men and a successful one on the other, the mother casts herself out of the house while father and son attempt to pick up the pieces. Oh, the puns I didn’t use, here, folks!
If the above wasn’t bad enough, there’s some post-surgery recuperation humiliation by some bullies, a couple of Korean-style beat downs (a laughable amount, mind you), a weird sexual kink I’d never heard of which I hope to hell isn’t even true (no, I’m not looking it up!) and some intentionally jittery camerawork that adds to the nervy, frantic energy the film is throwing in every direction. The director gets some raw, amazing performances from his small cast, with the three leads carrying most of the film. Eun-woo Lee is so good in her dual role that it wasn’t until near the end that I realized that she was playing both women in the film. Sure, she’s playing two different unbalanced women here, but it’s a pair of performances that you can’t take your eyes off off.
That said, you may duck and weave around whenever a sharp object and later, some stones are revealed. As noted, the amount of blood spilled here is kind of minimal compared to other horror flicks, but what’s between your legs will get a workout as is runs and hides a few times during certain tense scenes. That goes for guys as well as gals, mind you. The lack of dialog and bizarre black humor will force you to pay attention even more than a horror film with too much yakking and over usage of gore effects. Kim’s close to the bone style works exceptionally well here to the point that some of the humor may fly past those cringing because of the ballsy show put on by the principals.
As exceptionally wild as the bulk of the film is, there’s a big twist that rolls in that’s a shocker and the finale is a kick in the you know where with a strange bit at the end that may or may not get gotten by some expecting something predictable. I have the feeling we may see an American remake of this one by some bigger studio that is less fun to watch and may have actual dialog because Hollywood doesn’t trust its target market to think too much and loves putting too many writers to work adding or taking away scenes that work fine in the original work. We’ll see, I suppose. For now, check out this slick and sick treat as soon as you can. MOEBIUS will leave you (and probably a few tender bits) all up in knots and begging for more.