A serial-murder crimer crossed with the Asian psychothriller, “Face” starts off gangbusters but doesn’t deliver in its final act. Genre fans will enjoy most of the going but in Western markets this is ancillary fodder, with some exposure indicated at fantasy fests. Amid a rash of other horror movies in South Korea this summer, pic performed just OK in June, with some 500,000 admissions.
Shin Hyeon-jun (hawk-eyed star of “Bichunmoo”) plays Lee Hyeon-min, a specialist in modeling faces from skulls. Still strung out from his wife’s death and anxious over his young daughter’s heart operation, he’s prone to sweaty nightmares and visions of ghosts. Reluctantly agreeing to help a cop (Kim Seung-wook) investigate a series of bizarre murders alongside rookie face-restorer Jeong Sun-yeong (Song Yun-ah), he finds his daughter may be carrying an organ related to the serial murders. Direction by Yu Sang-gon is thoroughly pro, ladling on the rain, shadows and stygian atmosphere to sometimes scary effect, but the plotting is weak, with some illogical twists and turns and an over-sudden conclusion.