If you like scary Korean movies, then this article is going to be like finding a gem in the dark. I would describe myself as a horror movie enthusiast, and Svaha The Sixth Finger kept my heart pumping the entire time.
Svaha and Religion
The movie I am about to tell you about can be found on Netflix Korea, it’s titled Svaha (사바하). It is a thriller movie that follows a priest and his apprentice on the quest to unveil a cult based on Buddhist beliefs.
As a person who doesn’t know much about Buddhism, I still could understand the movie as a whole. However, I am sure that the movie will be even scarier for those with a background in the religion and culture.
Svaha also references Catholic milestones for the movie. So, those with a Christian background can find the movie relatable as well. Overall, compared to many other scary Korean movies, it was easy to follow.
The Director and Filming of Svaha
This 2-hour-long story was directed by the same director that did The Priests. The Priests is a movie that follows a priest and his apprentice in discovering whether a case was abuse or an attack by an evil spirit. By the way, I recommend that movie as well if you enjoy this one.
Being only the second movie directed by Jang Jae-Hyun, the shooting of the movie took place in the province of Gangwon-do. Beautiful shots of mountains completely bathed in snow make the movie more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The ambiance of the movie is as somber as it is fun. Fun fact, Svaha was filmed mostly completely on-site. This, despite the fact that it was -20 degrees in the winter (-4 Fahrenheit)!
The way the movie is shot makes the unveiling of the story very eye-catching. And, by the end, you’re so hooked on the plot. It is impossible to avert your eyes for a single second. Then, finally, in the end, one of the biggest plot twists I could’ve expected from a movie that seemed so simple. It ended up getting more twisted with each second.
Lee Jung Jae
This movie also stars the all-amazing Lee Jung-Jae. Yes, the same starring actor from Squid Game and who won an Emmy for best actor! So if you liked the way he portrayed his character in Squid Game, then I recommend you watch this. He makes the whole plot fall into place with his amazing acting and the way the story evolves is just magical.
For it to be rated as a scary movie – it doesn’t really have jump scares, which is something new for me. However, I am not a big fan of jump scares anyways. I love psychological thrillers. I like to be completely engulfed by the plot and this movie completely works like that.
The build-up is amazing! In the fashion of Korean cinematography, it is a slow burn. Which, I didn’t really mind. But, it might not be for everyone. It was like a rollercoaster, the buildup and then the explosion of the plot when it reached the climax of the movie. Perfect to have a nice evening with some popcorn and a cold beverage.
I don’t know if it is because I am used to western scary movies, but I am definitely checking out more Korean horror movies because I was flabbergasted by the whole ordeal. So if you are a fan of movies that keep you hooked and that have amazing plot twists, please add this to your list and let me know what you think of it after you watch it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you enjoy Svaha: The Sixth Finger and Squid Games, why not check out more of Lee Jung Jae’s work? Click Here to learn about some of his roles in the 1990’s.