9. Kim Yoo-Jung - The Eighth Night
A lavish Korean Horror mood piece, the 8th Night tells a tale of two halves; a monk and a detective both trying to stop an ancient demon from wreaking havoc with those it possesses. However the plot revolves around possession as part of a larger ritual for the demon to return to full power, culminating in the taking of the virginal Ae-ran.
Covering Buddhist themes such as fate, karma and eternity, there’s even a nifty eight-day countdown that adds tension to proceedings. The film received mainly mixed reviews from critics who praised its atmosphere but disliked the largely derivative plot.
One element of the flick that was almost universally praised was Ae-ran herself, played by a restrained but compelling Kim Yoo-Jung. Here Yoo-Jung puts most of her performance into her eyes and facial expression, adding a layer of muscular silence to every scene she’s in. What could have been a clichéd sacrificial lamb of a character is instead elevated to one of great sympathy and mystery, showing us that you don’t always need words to convey complex emotions.