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Exhuma
While the length might make the film a challenge to make it through in a single sitting, this is one of the better horror films this year.

Exhuma

Release Date: March 22, 2024
Runtime: 02:14
Synopsis:
The process of excavating an ominous grave unleashes dreadful consequences buried underneath.

Table of Contents

A renowned shaman and revered geomancer encounters an ancient evil while cleansing a supernatural affliction for a wealthy family in . Shaman Lee Hwa-rim () and her protege Bong Gil () are hired by the wealthy US-based businessman Park Ji Yong () to cure a mysterious affliction on his newborn son. Hwa-rim believes this to be a “Grave's Calling” case where a relative is disturbed in their grave. Hwa-rim and Bong Gil seek the assistance of revered geomancer Kim Sang-duk () and mortician Ko Young Geun () to exhume the grave of Park's grandfather.

When the team arrives at the grave, they discover it is in an isolated site deep within the mountains. This alarms Kim, who does not want to mess with the wrong grave. He is soon proven right when something much darker emerges from the grave.

Exhuma Synopsis

Exhuma is a supernatural horror film written and directed by South Korean filmmaker Jang Jae-hyun. The film stars Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, I Saw the Devil) and Kim Go-eun as geomancer Kim Sang-duk and shaman Lee Hwa-rim, who team together to resolve a supernatural affliction. The team seemingly succeeded at exorcising the vengeful spirit in the gravesite they exhumed, however, they discover that there is more hidden within the grave.

My Thoughts on Exhuma

Running at a lengthy 2h13m, the plot of Exhuma seemingly resolves itself at around the midway point of the story. However, the horror of this story, divided into six chapters, is only just beginning. I don't want to give away too much that happens in the film's second half, since this is when the horror of Exhuma truly ramps up.

Exhuma is probably best comparable with 2015's The Wailing, another supernatural horror film to come out of South Korea. Both films involve the practices of Korean shamans, with a key scene of Exhuma seeing Kim Go-eun's Lee Hwa-rim doing a ceremonial dance to appease any dark spirits that would come out of the gravesite. The plot also delves a bit into Korean folklore and the different types of spirits.

Known for his lead role 21 years ago in Park Chan-wook's Oldboy, Choi Min-sik drives the plot of Exuma as the grizzled geomancer Kim Sang-duk, an expert in feng shui. It is Kim who is reluctant to exhume this gravesite, which he immediately senses is on the vilest plot. He is soon proven right and he and Hwa-rim have to find a way to cleanse the site, ridding it of its evil force.

While the length might make the film a challenge to make it through in a single sitting, the end of Chapter 3 makes for a good cutoff point, Exhuma is a quite well-done supernatural horror film. The film goes into some unexpected places, particularly in the second half, and is most definitely one of my most recommended horror films of the year.

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Trailer for Exhuma

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.