Unlocked: Korean Movie Review

I have a sneaking suspicion that Im Siwan is really enjoying flexing his acting chops by playing villain roles because this is the second straight film that he has taken on a psychopath role. Overall, this is the third time I’ve seen him play an antihero and he slays every time. And because he really excels as it, I have no complaints. He served up another memorable performance in Unlocked.

Synopsis: Na Mee (Chun Woo Hee), like the rest of the world, is obsessed with her cellphone. She posts her entire life on social media and uses her phone for every aspect of her life. Her life flips from a dream to a nightmare after a stranger accidentally finds her smartphone on the bus.

Unlocked is truly an eye opener about how people are so consumed by their smartphones these days and how lightly we take issues on privacy. While this is not the first movie to tackle this subject, it did a good job in delivering a realistic wake up call about the dangers of social media without any sugarcoating.

It seems depressing but it also sparks a conversation about true evil. There’s no great mystery that Im Siwan was playing a psychotic hacker/stalker/serial murderer in this film. In fact, it was already confirmed in the trailer. But what makes Unlocked’s approach interesting was that unlike other films that delve deep into the backstory of the villain to justify his motives, this movie simply presented the villain as someone who enjoyed seeing other people’s pain, plain and simple. By doing so, the movie had more time to emphasize the atrocities of the perpetrator’s actions, how easily he was able to do it and how far he was willing to go, which raised the stakes higher because this dude had no filters.

Siwan did an excellent job as the villain. He understood the assignment and was equal parts creepy, charming and manipulative. The main female character also did well for her first outing although while I admire her feistiness , I wasn’t very sympathetic to her because she seemed too disconnected with the real world and sought validation from every aspect of her life with her phone. Her point of realization was very relatable, although it came a bit late, about the value of real connections vs those posted online.

Unlocked is a very good movie to watch if you want to check your social media habits or discover how to better protect yourself in this technologically propelled society. It was scarier than any horror film in the sense that it could happen to anyone who owns a smartphone.

The pacing was good and the story delivered an unexpected twist in the end. It was suspenseful, it was urgent, and it was generally well made. It seriously had me re-evaluating my decision on whether I should get my faulty Samsung phone reprogrammed or simply get a new one.