A twisted tale on the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Piper or “The Guest” is a historic mystery film with terrifying intent and intrigue.
A musician and his sickly son become unwelcome visitors to a seemingly idyllic village whilst travelling to Seoul for his child’s treatment. The father, a piper, has become injured serving for his country during the war but it has since ended much to the ignorance of the village who are misinformed by their Chief that the war is still very much alive. This fear of war and violence outside the confinements of their safe haven keeps the villagers controlled. The biggest problem is the infestation of rats roaming the village and musician, Kim Woo-ryung, promises to rid them once and for all in exchange for money for son, Young-nam’s, treatment. The story turns when the promised reward fails to be exchanged over for the deed done. If you’ve read or heard the story of the Pied Piper, you’ll remember how the revenge is wreaked. In this Korean cinematic adaptation, the revenge is all the more terrifying as secrets are revealed once the idyllic façade of this village crumbles.
The role of desperate loving father comes so naturally to actor Ryu Seung-ryong as demonstrated in his paternal role in Miracle in Cell No.7. His performance in The Piper is equally optimistic with emotionally charged scenes and driven dialogue.
The Piper is one of the very best independent films of 2015. It exceeds in all cinematic achievement, most importantly through the cinematography and ground-breaking plot structure. If you were to split the film between the two acts, you’d feel as though you were watching two different films. The first act is very colourful, painting this idyllic notion through the use of music, characterisation, expression and light. Compare this to the second act, where the film takes a terrifying turn, you’ll not mistake it for anything other than a horror.
Director: Kim Gwang-tae
Cast: Rye Seung-ryong, Goo Seung-Hyun, Lee Sung-min, Chun Woo-hee, Lee Joon.
Check out the trailer!