Unlocked Review: Cyber Crime Ends in Serial Murder
In the modern, all-digital era, smartphones seem to put our lives in our hands. However, what if our smartphone falls into someone else’s hands because of our carelessness?
“Unlocked” is the latest South Korean thriller film that will become everyone’s nightmare who stores all personal data on cellphones. The film, which was released as a Netflix Original, was adapted from a Japanese novel titled “Just Dropped My Phone” by Akira. The film, directed by Kim Tae-joon, was modified to better suit the Korean setting.
Lee Na-mi (Chun Woo-hee) is a clerk at a startup company. Like most people, Na-mi keeps all of her personal data on her smartphone. Until one day his smartphone fell on the bus and was taken by an irresponsible person. Feeling lucky when her cellphone returns, Na-mi’s life experiences a series of disasters that start destroying every aspect of her life.
With the popularity of fraud cases involving cyberspace mediums such as the Nth Room in Korea, to “The Tinder Swindler” which was trending on Netflix, the cyber crime thriller genre is becoming a spectacle that is getting scarier nowadays.
Serial killer masquerading as a cell phone repairman
“Unlocked” presents criminal practices with a simple mode but big consequences. Careless scenarios of losing or dropping the phone in public places are common. However, what if those who find our cell phones don’t just want to take our cell phones to sell? Jun-yeong (Im Si-wan) is a serial killer who takes advantage when he finds a smartphone that the owner accidentally left in a public place.
In the early stages of the film, we will see how Jun-yeong has a clever way of luring his potential victims. There is a gradual tension that we will feel seeing Na-mi. The moment a cell phone drops in remains common and being left behind is everyone’s nightmare. The next horror is felt when Jun-yeong has access to Na-mi’s cellphone and stalks her the whole time. From there, Jun-yeong’s actions will make us even more paranoid and annoyed at the bad luck that Na-mi has to face.
“Unlocked” is more dominated by scenes of Jun-yeong carrying out his actions, police investigations, and the drama of Na-mi’s life, which is actually very normal without any excessive conflict. There is no touch of romance for those who have the assumption that this is a film about a stalker who wants to seduce potential victims with love. Therefore it is quite interesting to see how Jun-yeong manipulates Na-mi’s life without having to become a love interest.
Acting Champion Im Si-wan becomes a Cold-blooded Criminal
When it comes to acting, it seems that Korean films always show the best quality. Im Si-wan became the highlight of his acting performance in “Unlocked”. Even though he is handsome and can appear sweet, his acting as Jun-yeong will make us both annoyed and scared by his actions.
Jun-yeong looks very calm and natural during the action. It’s like you’ve done this many times every time you get a new victim. Every time he appears in a scene, Jun-yeong’s character is able to present an atmosphere that makes the audience anxious and uncomfortable.
Chun Woo-hee as Na-mi also displays a balanced quality of acting. Her acting became even more prominent when she entered the most difficult plots for Na-mi. Although his characterization can be considered ordinary, because he represents people in general. His role here is to make the viewer feel paranoid on his feet. Kim Hee-won as the police here actually has great character potential. However, it was only seen that he was excited in the last round.
Cyber Crime Thriller Never Fails to Make You Suspense
“Unlocked” actually has a standard script presentation and production. Just like movies and kdramas on Netflix. Nothing new is actually highlighted in this criminal thriller. It’s just that, the recent issue of cyber crime has never failed to make the audience paranoid.
“Unlocked” excels in presenting this horror in every scene. There are many smartphone screen visuals, showing what information Na-mi has stored on her cellphone. How important is this information for his life. Until Jun-yeong’s point of view stalks Na-mi every time.
In fact, Jun-yeong’s motives have not been fully disclosed, other than that he only hid behind the identity of a cellphone repairman to steal the privacy of his victims. The plot twist at the end of the story is quite surprising. Until we realize that this twist actually makes Jun-yeong’s character background even more unreachable.
Overall “Unlocked” presents a tense watch with cybercrimes, privacy surveillance, and psychopathic premeditated murder. It is guaranteed that after watching this film, we will become paranoid about the condition of our cellphones.
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