The Chaser (2008)

The Chaser 2008tt1190539.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Chaser (2008)
  • Rate: 7.9/10 total 12,906 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Release Date: 14 February 2008 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 125 min
  • Filming Location: Seoul, South Korea
  • Director: Hong-jin Na
  • Stars: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha and Yeong-hie Seo
  • Original Music By: Yongrock Choi   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Pimp | Interrogation | Hammer | Chisel | Disappearance

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Won-Chan Hong  written by
  • Shinho Lee  written by
  • Hong-jin Na  written by

Known Trivia

  • The part where Young-min (Jung-woo Ha) slips as Joong-ho (Yun-seok Kim) chases him in the alley was not scripted. Actor Jung-woo Ha actually did slip on the slippery pavement while shooting, but kept running anyway. Director Hong-jin Na liked that cut so much that he kept it in the final edit.

Plot: Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts… See more »  »

Story: Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now.Written by sonic_bang  


Synopsis: Eom Joong-ho is a dishonest, ex-detective turned pimp who is in financial trouble because two of his girls have gone missing. One night he sends Mi-Jin, one of his few remaining girls to a customer. But he later realises that this is the same person who was the last to see his missing girls. Believing that this man is reselling his women, he goes to look for Mi-Jin. On the way he contacts his old police task force to ask for some help. But they cannot assist because the Mayor of Seoul, who they are guarding, has just been attacked with human faeces during a walkabout. The police are now preoccupied with a media storm because they have suffered humiliation for failing to protect the mayor.

Mi-Jin wakes up tied in a dingy bathroom. Her "customer", Je Yeong-min, comes in with a bag of tools. He tells her that a previous victim had her tongue cut out for screaming too much. Using a hammer, he tries to drive a chisel into her head. But she resists and he hurts his hand. Moments later callers from the local church arrive at the house inquiring about its owner, Mr Park. Yeong-min has no time to finish off Mi-jin so he invites the elderly couple in and butchers them.

But while searching the area for a parking spot in an attempt to ditch their car, he collides with Joong-ho’s vehicle in an alleyway. Joong-ho senses that the man, Yeong-min, is hiding something because he will not give him his phone number. Joong-ho calls the customer’s number establishing this is the man he wants. Yeong-min tries to run away but is caught and badly beaten by Joong-ho. On returning to the collision, both men are arrested by a suspicious local cop. At the station, Yeong-min admits he has killed up to nine people but hints Mi-jin could still be alive. A fracas starts when competing divisions all want to investigate the previous high-profile unsolved murders in the area. The chief arrives and throws the book at everyone because of Yeong-min’s injuries. He is concerned the beating will be picked up by the media following the night’s earlier mayoral incident.

Despite his confession, the police have no physical evidence so they cannot detain Yeong-min for longer than 12 hours. In order to get some, Joong-ho goes to Mi-jin’s apartment to collect DNA samples to match against the blood found on the suspect’s clothing. In the apartment, he discovers Eun-ji, Mi-Jin’s daughter, home alone. Reluctantly he takes her with him while he follows up a lead in Yeong-min’s home town. There he learns the suspect had been sent to prison for three years for attacking his own nephew. They return to the area where Mi-jin went missing. Following a lead, Joong-ho finds a place where Yeong-min had once been living. On the walls are a host of religious drawing. But while Joong-ho is away, Eun-ji wanders off after following a woman that looks like her mother. Off camera, she is apparently knocked down by a delivery driver on a moped in a hit and run. After a frantic search, Joong-ho finds her and takes her to a hospital. He signs the forms as her father.

Meanwhile time has run out for the police. The prosecutors office order that Yeong-min be released because the police have no evidence. Secondly the reopening of high-profile murder cases at a time when the police have been publicly shamed will not be accepted by the media. The prosecutor tells the police chief that the arrest, the suspect’s suspicious injuries and rapid confession will be portrayed as the police’s vapid attempt to save face. To avoid the political fallout, Yeong-min is released without charge. While at the same time, the chief orders the arrest of Joong-ho as a scapegoat because he attacked the suspect. Despite being taken, the former cop escapes from the police van to look for Mi-jin.

Unknown to anyone, Mi-jin freed herself and escaped from the house and the walled garden that is full of human remains. Badly injured but lucid, she finds help at the corner shop. Just as Yeong-min approaches the house he stops at the same shop to buy some cigarettes. The shop keeper innocently tells him what has happened to Mi-jin and that there is "maniac" loose. Taking a hammer, he kills the shop owner before killing and decapitating Mi-jin. Arriving at an undetermined time later, Joong-ho finds the street closed off by the task force police and the store a bloodbath.

The police realising that they have now been humiliated again throw everything into the search for Yeong-min. Meanwhile Joong-ho, who is bereft at what has happened, follows up his detective’s hunch and visits the local church; a link between the house callers and the car that Yeong-min had been driving the night of the accident. Standing outside the church, Joong-ho notices that the statute of the crucified Jesus matched the drawings he had seen in the room. Inquiries with the deacon lead him to the "assistant" who was staying at Mr Park’s house.

On arrival Joong-ho discovers that a now smartly-dressed Yeong-min, with his bag of tools, is just about to leave. A massive fight ensues in which a fish tank containing the body parts of Mi-jin is smashed. Eventually Joong-ho prevails but just as he is about to bring a hammer down on Yeong-min’s skull the police burst in and restrain the former policeman. As Joong-ho is pushed face down to the ground, he looks into the dead eyes of Mi-jin and sees images of her daughter.

The film ends with Joong-ho sitting silently in the hospital room alongside Eun-ji’s bed. He takes her hand in his own.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Moon-Su Choi known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Yun-seok Kim known as Joong-ho Eom
  • Jung-woo Ha known as Young-min Jee
  • Yeong-hie Seo known as Mi-jin Kim
  • Seong-kwang Ha known as Detective Park
  • In-gi Jung known as Detective Lee
  • Yoo-Jeong Kim known as Eun-ji
  • Bon-woong Ko known as Oh-jot
  • Jong-goo Lee known as Profiler
  • Sang-hee Lee
  • Hyo-ju Park known as Detective Oh
  • Moo-yeong Yeo known as Police commissioner

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Yeon-jeong Shin known as makeup artist


Production Companies:

  • Daishin Venture Capital
  • Fine Cut
  • Hanhwa Venture Capital
  • Silk Road

Other Companies:

  • Bidangil Pictures  production services
  • Big House  production services
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Eastside Communications  publicity: Germany
  • Kodak  film stock
  • Seoul Film Commission  location support


  • Showbox Entertainment (2008) (South Korea) (all media)
  • IFC Films (2009) (Canada) (all media)
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (all media)
  • Klock Worx Company, The (2009) (Japan) (all media)
  • Cinéart (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • IFC Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Cinéart (2008) (Benelux) (all media)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Fundamental Films (2009) (China) (TV)
  • Golden Scene (2008) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Haut et Court (2008) (France) (all media)
  • Hwa Jaan (2008) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Imovision (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Imovision (2010) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • MFA Filmdistribution (2008) (Germany) (all media)
  • Madman Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (all media)
  • Maywin Media (2009) (Russia) (all media)
  • Metrodome Distribution (2008) (UK) (all media)
  • NonStop Entertainment (2008) (Scandinavia) (all media)
  • Rialto Entertainment (2008) (Australia) (all media)
  • Seven Films (2008) (Greece) (all media)
  • Shaw Organisation (2008) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Twin Pics (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Vapet Productions (2009) (Bulgaria) (all media)
  • Vapet Productions (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • Vapet Productions (2009) (Poland) (all media)
  • Vapet Productions (2009) (Slovakia) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}Visual Effects by:

  • Eui Dong Park known as technical supervisor

Release Date:

  • Germany February 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • South Korea 14 February 2008
  • Hong Kong 14 August 2008 (Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival)
  • UK 23 August 2008 (London FrightFest Film Festival) (premiere)
  • Germany 27 August 2008 (Fantasy Filmfest)
  • Ireland 19 September 2008
  • UK 19 September 2008
  • USA 20 September 2008 (Austin Fantastic Fest)
  • Hong Kong 25 September 2008
  • Singapore 25 September 2008
  • Greece 27 September 2008 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Spain October 2008 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • USA 18 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Germany 31 October 2008 (Munich Asia Filmfest)
  • Germany 6 November 2008
  • France 9 November 2008 (Lyon Asiexpo Film Festival)
  • Sweden 21 November 2008 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Italy 8 December 2008 (Noir in Festival)
  • Japan 1 March 2009 (Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival)
  • France 18 March 2009
  • USA 26 March 2009 (Cleveland International Film Festival)
  • Hungary 28 March 2009 (Titanic International Filmpresence Festival)
  • Sweden 15 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Denmark 18 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
  • Japan 1 May 2009
  • Belgium 6 May 2009
  • Canada 17 July 2009 (Fantasia International Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 24 August 2009 (Noorderzon Festival Groningen)
  • Netherlands 10 September 2009
  • Brazil 25 September 2009 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 16 October 2009 (limited)
  • Brazil 23 October 2009
  • USA 30 December 2009 (New York City, New York)
  • Slovenia 6 January 2010 (limited)
  • USA 12 January 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Greece 4 March 2010
  • Turkey 4 June 2010


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

Leave a Reply