Shen this grisly thriller is good, it's very good -- for short stretches.

There’s much more potential in the basic idea of “Truck” than ever reaches the screen, but when this grisly thriller is good, it’s very good — for short stretches. Second theatrical feature by helmer Kwon Hyeong-ju is totally different from his soupy meller “For Horowitz” (aka “My Piano”), but has enough plot reversals to make this a solid entry for genre fests and offshore ancillary. Pic did so-so local biz last fall.

Widower Jeong Cheol-min (Yu Hae-jin), a working-stiff trucker, suddenly has to raise $60,000 for a heart transplant for his 7-year-old daughter, Da-yeong (Lee Jun-ha). In short order, he’s wiped out in a poker game, stumbles across a grisly murder by a nightclub owner (who forces him to dispose of the bodies in his truck) and, while heading east from Seoul, is hijacked by psychotic mass murderer Kim Yeong-ho (eerily played by young Jin Gu). Setup is unnecessarily detailed; but once the pic hits the road for a long night of slaughter, tension is well sustained, even though Jang Hyeong-mo’s script doesn’t hit the depths of horror and complexity it could. Tech package is thoroughly pro.

Truck

South Korea

Production

A Sidus FNH release of a Benex Investment presentation, in association with Golden Bridge and Sidus FNH, of a Sidus FNH production. (International sales: Golden Network Asia, Hong Kong.) Produced by Kim Mi-heui, Cha Seung-jae. Directed by Kwon Hyeong-ju. Screenplay, Jang Hyeong-mo.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Hwang Dong-guk; editor, Choi Min-yeong; music, Mok Yeong-jin; art director, Lee Dae-hun. Reviewed on DVD, London, May 1, 2009. Original title: Teureok. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Yu Hae-jin, Jin Gu, Lee Jun-ha, Choi Jin-ho, Lee Chae-yeong, Kim Jun-bae, Jang Jun-nyeong.
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