Monster (2014 film)

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Monster (2014 film)-poster.jpg
International poster
Directed byHwang In-ho
Produced byKim Min-kyoung
Ahn Sang-hoon
Written byHwang In-ho
StarringLee Min-ki
Kim Go-eun
Music byLee Jae-jin
CinematographyKim Gi-tae
Edited bySteve M. Choe
Park Gyeong-suk
Distributed byCJ Entertainment
Release date
  • March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13)
Running time
113 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$3.8 million[1]

Monster (Korean몬스터; RRMonseuteo) is a 2014 South Korean action thriller film[2] written and directed by Hwang In-ho, starring Lee Min-ki and Kim Go-eun.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Independent and aggressive, Bok-soon is known around the neighborhood as a "psycho bitch" because of her weird behavior. She is "slow" and not very smart due to a developmental disability, but is nonetheless a brave young woman with a happy inner world. Bok-soon manages to make a living by running a street stall at the local market with her younger sister Eun-jeong, whom she loves more than life itself. The name-calling doesn't affect her at all, and she only cares about working hard and saving up money for Eun-jeong's education. Their relatively peaceful life is disrupted when Tae-soo, who lives alone in a deserted forest, kills Bok-soon's beloved sister because Eun-jeong may have stumbled upon the truth of his murderous lifestyle. Bok-soon is completely consumed by her grief, madness and uncontrollable rage. Despite her limited mental ability, she begins planning her revenge, and joins up with Na-ri, a little girl who is being chased by Tae-soo, after he killed her elder sister Yeon-Hee.

Tae-soo is a merciless, unpredictable serial killer who commits brutal murders for no reason, then methodically covers up his tracks. He cares deeply for his adoptive family, stepmother Kyeong-ja and older brother Ik-sang, who took him in as a young boy. But it was his family's opportunistic attitude to exploit Tae-soo despite their disgust and fear towards him that only aggravated the loneliness and monstrosity within him.

Eventually, Kyeong-ja and Ik-sang secretly bring in some gangsters to her restaurant in an attempt to kill Tae-soo, whom they invited for a meal. With his animalistic senses, Tae-soo escapes death, but ends up getting terribly injured, yet manages to kill them all, his stepmother and her son and apparently Na-ri (whom Tae-soo took along). Bok-soon finds Tae-soo just then, and a deadly battle unfolds between this frail but strong young woman and the bemused, ruthless killer that ruined her life.[9][10][11]. After finally stabbing him to death, she finds out that the little girl is alive. Then Yeon-Hee's ex-boss appears, who previously asked Ik-sang to buy Yeon-Hee's phone from its owner, so she can't blackmail him with recorded video showing his abusive behavior towards her. But Tae-soo, asked by his step-brother to make the purchase, kept the money, phone and killed Yeon-Hee instead. Asked by Yeon-Hee's ex-boss to give him the phone, Bok-soon does this and leave the gory restaurant with Na-ri.



Monster was released in theaters on March 13, 2014. Writer-director Hwang In-ho experimented by combining thriller and comedy elements and pushing genre conventions to their extremes with strong stylistic overtones, but some reviews called the film "awkward," "unharmonious" and "almost schizophrenic" as a result, while others criticized a perceived misogyny beneath the film's ostensible message of female empowerment.[12][13] This negative criticism seemed to affect its early run, drawing 88,995 viewers on its opening weekend, behind Thread of Lies and 300: Rise of an Empire.[14] It recorded 357,000 admissions and ₩2.85 billion (US$2.66 million) for its first week.[15]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Monster". CJ Entertainment.
  3. ^ Song, Soon-jin (28 March 2014). "HWANG In-ho, Director of MONSTER: "I Want to Think Free of Genre"". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  4. ^ Song, Soon-jin (24 February 2014). "Press Conference Held for MONSTER: Actor Transformations Front and Center". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  5. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (24 January 2014). "KIM Go-eun, Star of Monster and Memories of the Sword: To be Remembered as a Good actress, Not as an Overnight Star". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  6. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (7 March 2014). "Eun-gyo takes on Monster role". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  7. ^ Lee, Claire (16 March 2014). "Eun-gyo returns as a Monster". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  8. ^ Son, Bo-kyung (22 March 2014). "Interview: Lee Min Ki Transforms into Killer for Monster". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  9. ^ "Monster (몬스터)". CJ Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  10. ^ Conran, Pierce (27 January 2014). "Monster". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  11. ^ Lee, Claire (21 February 2014). "Kim Go-eun to come back in vicious revenge tale". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  12. ^ Song, Soon-jin (24 March 2014). "In Focus: Monster". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  13. ^ Conran, Pierce (11 March 2014). "Review: Tone-deaf MONSTER Exhibits Unusual Cruelty Towards Women". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2014-03-30.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (24 March 2014). "Box Office: March 6-19, 2014". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  15. ^ Ma, Kevin (18 March 2014). "Thread of Lies tops South Korea B.O." Film Business Asia. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-27.

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