To Sir, With Love (2006) Movie Review
Written By: YN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Im Dae-woong
Producers: Nam Jin-Ho, Kim Tae-Jin and Moon Mi-Ho
Writer: Park Se-yeol
Date Released: August 3, 2006
Mi-hee Oh as Ms. Park
Seo Young-hee as Mi-Ja/Jung-Won
Lee Ji-Hyun as Sun-Hee
Lee Dong-kyu as Myung-Ho
Yu Seol-ah as Eun-Young
Park Hyo-jun as Dal-Bong
Yeo Hyun-soo as Se-Ho
Jang Seong-won as Jung-Won
Kim Eung-soo as Detective Ma
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The film starts when Detective Ma stumbles upon a room full of dead bodies in Mrs. Park’s basement. He discovers that the corpses are five of her former students who all came together at her house for a reunion. Mi-Ja, the only ex-student to survive the whole ordeal, relays the story of how their simple get-together ends up becoming a bloodbath.
To Sir, With Love (2006) is also alternatively known as Bloody Reunion in Korea, and this title perfectly fits the entire film. It gets bloody and messy towards the end, but somehow, you will find yourself unable to tear your eyes off the chaos happening in your screen. It is your typical slasher film where a masked man hunts down a group of people and murders them one by one. And their deaths are brutal and innovative. The murderer does not just stab them to death. He tortures them first until their screams will eventually die down. These scenes are drawn out, explicit and terrifying, but it doesn’t reach the point of becoming lurid and ridiculous. Nonetheless, To Sir, With Love (2006) is definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Grave Review
This film is a master of infusing tension in every scene. And the strength of its storytelling lies in its visuals and the script. From the dialogues, to nuanced body language, camera works and scene sequence–all of these have their own purpose. Either they add into the foreboding atmosphere of the movie or some depth into the characters and their motives. But these are done so subtly and craftily that it doesn’t feel contrived and predictable. When things start going down, you will still find yourself blindsided by the sheer violence of it.
Most of the suspense lies beneath the surface. We see this in the way the characters interact with one another. Sometimes, they say one thing, but their body language or facial expression say a different story altogether. Other times, you see the characters smiling and hugging each other, but when the camera angle shifts or zooms in, you will see a slight tic in their smiles. And the actors are incredible in portraying these little details. Their convincing performance has somehow managed to keep the hostility down on a simmer. Nonetheless, you can definitely still feel it lingering in the air.
The cinematography also covers up the violence brewing quietly underneath. The scene sequence is made to misdirect your attention from the truth. We have an introductory montage of Mrs. Park’s tragic life, making her look like an innocent victim when in fact she has her own dark secrets. Likewise, the first part of the movie is all bright and idyllic with a paradise-like backdrop to cover up the tension building up between the characters.
But as soon as the sun sets and night falls, the tension breaks and blood begin to pour. The entire nighttime sequence gives you no respite as the characters are all hunted down one by one by a masked murderer. And as if that isn’t enough, the motives of each student are finally revealed by this time, and now all of them are out to exact their own revenge.
Eventually, all these misdirection and tension buildup will pay off once you reach the big reveal. All the unspoken hints will add up to this eureka moment that will leave you floored afterwards. Truly, nothing is what they seem in this film. It sinks its hooks into you and sucks you in, leaving you reeling afterwards.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives To Sir, With Love (2006) four graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
Join the Conversation