Blood Rain has a name fit for horror and the blood to match. Blood Rain is set on a paper rich province in 19th century Korea. During a festival a ship loaded with paper cargo is burned down, and a detective is sent in to investigate the circumstances behind the arson. Immediately upon his arrival on the island the investigator becomes entangled in a series of gruesome murders. This is more of a murder mystery of sorts and I occasionally found myself wondering if there was a quicker, more exciting way to get us from point A to point B.
Blood Rain was clearly meant to be ambiguous when it comes to the identity of the killer. I wasn’t sure if the killer was a man or a ghost at some points of the movie. I blame the script, for example when Won-kyu ends up in a horse chase with a masked killer. I’m sorry but having a ghost killer that wears masks and makes its escapes on horseback while holding a pistol?? It slowly becomes a bit comical after you witness that. Those relatively surmountable complaints aside, it’s a very enjoyable production. The cast does their job very well. Blood Rain is aggressively entertaining.
There are only a few violent scenes, but the few that are there are a bit graphic. Remember, this is categorized as a horror film and there are some truely horrifying moments. Blood Rain is a mature, thoughtful, and expertly made work that deserves to find a wide audience. I had expected more supernatural elements, but what little we do get are easily dismissed as island superstition.
The film comes up a bit short in terms of there not being a whole lot of action, and the investigation mostly boils down to beating a suspect until he confesses. All in all, Blood Rain has the best of everything. Beautiful costumes, good production, intriguing mystery, the right amount of action and wonderful acting. Bury all your expectations and preconceptions about the horror genre, how they approach it in past Korean Historical Dramas on the big screen. Just enter this experience expecting to be entertained, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be left satisfied.