K-Movie

Movie Review: Kim Seon-ho makes movie debut in bloody action film The Childe

For a film that runs two minutes shy of two hours, The Childe does not drag. It’s a big, bloody action film well worth watching.

Esther Low

| July 3, 2023
The Childe
A movie still from The Childe. Photo: Golden Village Pictures

The Childe is Korean writer-director Park Hoon-jung’s latest work. The acclaimed director was the one behind action-thriller New World (2013) and two-part horror film The Witch (2018).

And he’s back with a new film in 2023 — The Childe.

The plot centres around Marco (Kang Tae-Ju), a boxer participating in illegal matches in Manila for the cash prize to support his ill mother. He later travels to Korea to look for his wealthy father to obtain funds for his mother’s surgery.

The Childe
A movie still from The Childe. Photo: Golden Village Pictures

But he is then pursued incessantly and made to face a dreadful truth.

The film opens with a shroud of mystery. And a bloody massacre follows, set up by the “hostage” whom we later learn goes by the name Nobleman (Kim Seon-Ho).

For his silver screen debut, his chilling performance did quite leave a lasting impression. 

Small details — like the way he creeps up on his victim, and his sinister smile that sends chills down one’s spine are the introduction to Kim in the film.

Read more: Kim Seon-ho, the drama and theatre actor who’s now making his film debut

Kim doesn’t have a name in the film. The twistedly riveting character is known only as the Nobleman.

He portrays a classy and profanely funny character. One who only becomes livid when you wreck his precious Mercedes or sully his fancy shoes. It’s an extreme statement to make — but Kim makes sadistic killers fun to hire again. 

Scenes where this dapper assassin speaks English in particular, left a vivid impression. In fact, all of the characters speak English at certain points in the film. 

Pandemonium breaks out as bodies are scattered across the floor. The gripping confrontation leaves you at the edge of your seat as the antagonists fight one another in ceaseless carnage.

The Childe
A movie still from The Childe. Photo: Golden Village Pictures

In the midst of the bloodbath, I did hope that the movie provided viewers with more insight into Marco’s Kopino (Korean-Filipino) heritage. 

It did seem as though his heritage would be an important aspect of the plot. But the story moves away from this and steers into the never-ending pursuit of Marco.

The 118-minute film takes viewers on a journey, one that you wouldn’t know where you are headed until the end. And it leaves you to wonder if the enigmatic Nobleman is a friend or a foe. 

For a film that runs two minutes shy of two hours, The Childe does not drag. It’s a big, bloody action film well worth watching.

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