Rated 2.0

After being held prisoner in what looks like a dingy studio apartment for 15 years, a man goes hunting for his captor (or captors), who framed him for the murder of his wife. Director Chan-wook Park’s movie (co-written with Jo-yun Hwang and Joon-hyung Lim) has a story that, in English with American actors, probably would be laughed out of every multiplex in the world (guess we’ll have a chance to find out: a U.S. remake is planned for 2006). In Korean, it was enough to win the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. Park has a strong visual style and a near-surrealistic noir touch, but unraveling the mystery scarcely repays sitting through his relentless rounds of gut-wrenching violence (seeing leading man Min-sik Choi eat a live, struggling octopus is the very least of it).