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Memories Of Murder review

Inspired by the real-life hunt for South Korea's first serial killer, Bong Joon-ho's moody thriller is a stylish police procedural with a dash of ink-black humour.

When a dead girl is found in a country storm-drain, the cops do what they always do: grill her friends and find an easy mark to pin the crime on. But as the bodies begin to multiply, ruining any chance of a cover-up, bumbling hothead Park (Song Kang-ho) and cool, clinical Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) realise they're dealing with a fiendishly intelligent psychopath...

With its grim forensic detail and palpable sense of evil, Memories Of Murder is clearly indebted to Se7en and The Silence Of The Lambs. What sets it apart is the broad comedy Joon-ho uses to defuse the tension and flesh out the characters. Some wit might have been lost in translation (""You're dumping shit on cooked rice here!"") but this remains a superior drama that gives a familiar genre a refreshing new twist.

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