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[Movie Review] Spellbinding Thriller “Blood and Ties,” Starring Son Ye Jin, Leaves Viewers on the Edge on Their Seats


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"It Ain’t Over 'Til It’s Over"

New graduate Da Eun (Son Ye Jin) has always been sheltered by her hardworking father, Soon Man (Kim Kap Soo), who has sacrificed everything to keep her happy. They have their share of difficulties – Da Eun is repeatedly failing interviews for her dream job, and Soon Man is often disrespected at his string of menial jobs – but their lives are fulfilling, driven by their love for one another.


The clock is counting down the days until the statute of limitation expires on an old kidnapping and subsequent murder case, one that has law authorities stumped for more than 15 years. Police are on the prowl for a last chance to bring the murderer to justice, but all they have to go on is a recording of a phone call that the suspect made to the victim’s family. In a bad turn of fate, Da Eun comes across the recording, and is shocked to find that the voice in the recording is one that she hears everyday - her father’s. Even the phrase that he always instilled into her mind since childhood is the same as the one the murderer utters: “It ain’t over 'til it’s over.”

Horrified at her discovery, Da Eun returns home to her unsuspecting father and begins to conduct her own investigation into the murder case, embarking on a heartrending quest to unearth the truth.


Blood and Ties,” a film loosely based on several infamous murder cases that passed through the realm of prosecution without any resolution, delves head-first into exploring the question: At what point do we begin to question everything that we’ve ever known?

Da Eun, who is suddenly thrown by her mounting suspicion that her doting father may not be who she thinks he is, is constantly conflicted by where her loyalties should lie – with her father, the only family she has ever known, or with her moral duty to be an impartial human being. 

And she’s facing an unyielding, unforgiving deadline – as the days are counting down to the expiration of the statute of limitations to the case, she must be resolute to gamble one choice over the other. 


The true brilliance of “Blood and Ties” is hidden in the intricate details sprinkled throughout the film. Director Kook Dong Seok is strategic in his choice of detailing, carefully building up to an ending that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats until the closing scene. To no one’s surprise, Kim Kap Soo’s compelling performance as a typical doting father Soon Man also deserves a standing ovation. Kim Kap Soo perfectly portrays a mysterious figure whose behavior becomes more and more eccentric, leaving viewers confused as to whether his innocent appearance is just for show.

Overall, “Blood and Ties” offers an intriguing, psychological battle between minds and morals that will keep you guessing. If you have time, be sure to catch it in limited theaters across North America!

All images courtesy of CJ Entertainment


Title: Blood and Ties
Genre: Thriller
Language: Korean with English subtitles
Running time: 95 mins
Rating: NR (Not Rated) by MPAA (US Rating)
Director: Kook Dong Seok
Cast: Son Ye Jin, Kim Kap Soo
Production: Sunshine Film and CJ Entertainment
Distribution: CJ Entertainment
US Release date: November 8th, 2013

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