Monster is a South Korean psychological thriller released in 2014. Starring Lee Minki and Kim Go-eun, Monster introduces a sensational adventure into the world of a serial killer and a young girl seeking justice.


Suffering from a developmental disorder, Bok-soon is known as the neighborhood psycho. Despite her flaws, Bok-soon is aggressive, fearless and independent when managing her street stall business. "Taking care" of her younger sister Eun-jeong, Bok-soon thinks very highly of her smarter-than-life sister and does everything she can to save up money for her education.

Unpredictable and insane, Tae-soo is seen as a serial killer who impulsively chooses his victims and commits brutal murders with no apparent reasoning. Taken in by an adoptive family who he thinks quite highly of (Ik-sang his older brother and Kyeong-ja his mother), Tae-soo strives desperately to be "normal" and a part of their daily lives.

Shunned and disgusted by Tae-soo, both brother and mother keep as far away from him. Having been exposed to this all throughout his life, Tae-soo grows to become monstrous and succumbs to the demons in his head.

One day, Ik-sang meets with a close affiliate whose been placed into a treacherous scandal. After physically and sexually abusing one of his employees who had caught the heinous act on tape, the man asks for Ik-sang to retrieve the phone and entrusts him with a large sum of money to hand over to the woman blackmailing him. Instead, Ik-sang takes the money for himself and pays back the debt he's burrowed himself into.

As a last resort, Ik-sang calls Tae-soo and asks him to retrieve the phone from this employee. Tae-soo goes out and kills her while also finding the woman's young sister, Go Na-ri, alone in the house. Kidnapping her into the isolated, dark forest home he has, Tae-soo proposes a game of cat and mouse. He lets Na-ri run free, but warns her to not confide in others for help. Tae-soo threatens to kill anyone Na-ri tries to seek after.

That night, Na-ri stumbles upon Eun-jeong and Bok-soon who have just finished dinner. They take her in and keep her company until the next morning. Eun-jeong is leaving for school and Na-ri tags along in hopes of finding shelter elsewhere. But Tae-soo finds them before anything more could be done. While Na-ri runs free, Eun-jeong befalls the serial killers wrath and is murdered.

Bok-soon, overcome with grief and a sense of insanity, vows to avenge her sister and plots how to kill Tae-soo.


This is the first movie I've seen with Lee Minki and I'm so floored by his acting that I simply can't express my love for him. I am always very picky of villains and the psychological aspect they befall throughout the movie. I can't think of any other person that could play a better role than Minki himself.

As the title credits are introduced, you get quite a handsome dose of Minki going through this seemingly ritualistic routine and embedding tattoos onto his own skin. It was only later that I found out he was keeping track of the people he murdered and branded himself. It was like his body (built and oh-so appealing) was his pride and joy while showcasing his many kills.

I'm very critical of villains mainly because they are my favorite addition to a movie. That makes sense as to why I'm not a fan of melodrama or romance.

You get a little dose of Tae-soo and Ik-sang as children, who were abused by their father before the credits. Here you see little Tae-soo asking his brother who was badly beaten if he should kill their guardian. And a few minutes later, the viewer can conclude that their father was poisoned.

To think from a young age Tae-soo was already falling into a psychotic and abnormal pattern that would not be tended to because of his mother and brother's fear towards his mental state is absolutely mind blowing.

I don't think I've ever been so terrified of a villain as I have of Lee Minki portraying Tae-soo. Being a hardcore movie addict, there comes a time where I put myself in the shoes of these characters. When Bok-soon affiliates herself in this gritty revenge ploy, I seriously got the shivers. There's that common sense attribute where you ponder how she, a petite girl, can take down this six foot serial killer trained to do nothing but murder senselessly.

This is the first time I've ever seen Kim Go-eun live in action. She portrays Bok-soon, a girl suffering from a developmental disorder. Let me just say how much I love that. Not only do we see some girl power, we also see someone who's looked down upon and given no hope in society. Yet, she brandishes out her own sense of justice to avenge her sister while also saving little Go Na-ri in the midst of it all.

Reading up on reviews, Monster really highlighted and gave power to women all around. While most of the time heroines seen in melodramas achieve success by "getting the guy", Go-eun nabbed the hearts of millions in this sensational thriller by empowering women who aren't of the norm or seen as inferior to men. And I loved every second of it.

When I first turned on this movie, I didn't think I'd like it at all. Man was I wrong. Hwang In-ho, director of this plot, experimented with merging two genres together: thriller and comedy. Now, at the sound of it, it seems preposterous. But I will be the first to tell you that it strangely coincides. Unlike the inappropriate, comedic aspects of Sensory Couple, Monster incorporates humor in ways where it oddly fits. I know the combination itself is peculiar, but it is not a let down.

Lee Minki has now joined the ranks of Lee Byunghun on my "best villain" list. This movie is not disappointing and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.

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