Joseph’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Reviews: 2035, THE NEW TALE OF RAT WIFE, and HOME

Among South Korea’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival’s premiere and classic offerings from around the globe are new voices in Korean cinema. Following are reviews of three works from up-and-coming Korean directors.

2035 (2023)

★★★ out of ★★★★★

Zero out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸

Directed by Park Jae-In

ATMOSfx! Woo!

In the titular year, a journalist (Oh Tae-Kyung) recruits a friend (Yu Il-Han) to help him film a documentary in South Korea for an American broadcasting network commemorating the 10th anniversary of Korean reunification. Interviews with North Korean defectors, students, soldiers, and famous announcers reveal the possibility of a mysterious cover-up. Director Park Jae-In — who also cowrote the screenplay with Kim Su-In, shot the film with Park Jung-Seok, and edited the  feature-length film — combines science fiction and horror elements with political satire and other humor, including a running gag with food that gets funnier as it goes along. The documentary filmmakers interview a variety of unusual characters, which nicely avoids the trap of many found footage films during which the main characters merely wander around for most of the running time until the climax. Director Park also wisely keeps the shaky camera trope of found-footage movies to a bare minimum. Chris Weatherspoon, an American film and television producer currently working in South Korea, makes an amusing cameo appearance.

The New Tale of Rat Wife (2023)

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

🩸 out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸

Directed by Kim Yoon-Sun

This delightfully deranged variation on a Korean folk tale about a rodent who takes on the role of a person whose fingernail clippings it ate is a darkly humorous horror outing that sees a put-upon wife (Go Yeon-Ha) trying to please her [expletive related to the anus deleted] husband (Yoon Sae-Hyun). When a doppelganger of the wife appears and begins doing things that please the husband  — including cleaning the home in comically sensual manners and becoming pregnant — as well as his overbearing mother (Lee Geun-Ja) the wife tries vain attempts at one-upmanship, leading to a wild climax. The cast members play their roles marvelously, and writer/director Kim Yoon-Sun helms the short film with a wickedly delicious energy.   

Home (2023)

★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★

🩸 out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸

Directed by Jeong Jaehee

An ailing mother (Yang Mal-Bok) accuses her adult daughter (Jo Yeong-Ji) of being her eventual murderer. The distraught younger woman does her best to coexist with her mother in a doomed situation. Yang and Jo give intense performances. Jeong Jaehee invests her short film with a constant sense of dread that is palpable throughout the running time. The set decoration and dim lighting of the claustrophobic home gives off a grim sense of despair in this superb supernatural short. 

Reviews by Joseph Perry

2035, The New Tale of Rat Wife, and Home screen as part of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, which takes place in Bucheon, South Korea from June 29–July 9, 2023. For more information, visit

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Give us your email and get The Scariest Things in your inbox!

Scariest Socials