- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Moebius

Also known as:
Moebiuseu (Original title)

Year: 2013

Genre: Drama / Thriller

Language: Korean

Runtime: 89 min

Director: Kim Ki-duk

Writer: Kim Ki-duk


A mother and wife seeks revenge when she sees her husband cheating on her. She walks into his room at night to get rid of the problem, but he wakes up just in time to stop her. As things calm down, or so he thinks, she walks into her son's room and takes out the revenge on him instead.

Our thoughts:
It's rare that I review a movie after it has been part of our Best of the Year-list (other than the fact that it can only happen once a year!), but it happens on the rare occasions when I watch a movie just in time for compiling that and when the list is the main focus. Now I can finally sit down to review this brutal Korean film distributed by Njutafilms here in Sweden. Kim Ki-duk has made some challenging movies, but they're always made with certain artistic sensibilities that make even the most violent acts seem poetic in a way. "Moebius" is most definitely in line with that. It's certainly one of the most twisted movies we saw last year, yet it is just as focused on a broader vision.

In the first minutes of the movie, a mother (and wife) sees her husband cheating on her. Furious and desperate, she walks up to her husband when he's sleeping to castrate him. He manages to get her away from him, but instead she goes straight into the room of her currently masturbating son, and attacks him instead - in some sort of purging of perversion. The aftermath is the rest of the movie - how will her castrated son get through his teens, how will the father help, and what will be their outlets of both sexual nature and anger?

"Moebius" is told entirely without dialogue, which comes off as clumsy at times but mostly it forces you to face the horrible acts in a different way. There's nothing else to hold on to than what you see in front of you. The violence, the actions, the eyes, their movements... Even though the style seems weird at certain times (like in fighting scenes where all you hear is their grunts), it somehow succeeds more than it probably would have had if there was dialogue. It's a strange choice, but it doesn't make it harder to watch the movie.

Whether you watch "Moebius" and find a lot of meaning in its skewed perception of sex and relationships, or you don't see anything but a fucked up movie, there is still something fascinating here. It is probably due to Kim Ki-duk's cinematic language, which is incredibly intense and sensitive at the same time. You can't look away because what's on display is truly unique and mindblowingly bizarre, while keeping its humanity.

Without spoiling everything, I'll just suggest that you watch this movie. It's right up your alley if you're a reader of our site. There's something fascinating to be found in this provoking tale of a dysfunctional family and their fucked up relations with sex.

Positive things:
- Kim Ki-duk makes something over-the-top twisted seem poetic and real.
- Wonderful performances without dialogue.
- Truly brutal.
- Can be interpreted in many ways.

Negative things:
- The lack of dialogue seemed weird when big groups of people were fighting and all you hear is the hits and some grunts.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 4/5
Effects: 3.5/5
Comedy: 1/5

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