Burning ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

It’s exploring the presence and absence, with the sheer line of ambiguity in between. This give us a whole weird and unsettling vibe. This movie is also exploring the idea of doubt, paradox, and duality, by presenting contradictory evidence simultaneously, even quoted explicitly in the movie.

The horror of this movie is actually the doubts of knowing or not knowing anything, blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s not. And sometimes the weight is on us too, as the viewers!


In the third act of the movie, Hae-mi is gone. Missing. Like a dust. The puns of this movie are actually creeping me out. For example: Ben mentioned his joy of explosion so many time. After learning that Hae-mi is missing, he admitted to Jong-su that he also stopped seeing Have-mi because she didn’t pick up her phone.

He said: “It’s weird, it’s like she just disappeared like dust” or some sort.

After going back from Africa, Hae-mi recalled a great memory of sunset there and she cried, she said about her wish to disappear completely like dust. Well? Coincidence?

Ben once said to Jong-su that he has a habit of burning the greenhouse every two months. The next greenhouse would be the one closest to Jong-su’s house. After learning about this new information, Jong-su checked the greenhouses around the area everyday, like he’s obssesed. But nothing has been violated. He even confronted it to Ben and Ben said maybe he didn’t look enough. He added:

“Sometimes things are hard too see because it’s too close to you.”

Then Hae-mi went missing. Is greenhouse just a metaphor? For a hopeless girl that has no future and easily damaged? We know that greenhouse is made of vinyl and very flammable. Is Hae-mi… murdered?

Before Have-mi disappearance, we witnessed that Jong-su found a lot of girl’s bracelets and accessories in Ben’s dressing room. On the final act, after confronting Ben once again, he found out that Have-mi’s watched has been added to the collection. Even now Ben has a cat! (and the cat comes when being called by ‘Boil’. Weird coincidence?). We can assume that Ben keeps these as a memento, as he is a serial killer.

Then, Jong-su killed Ben and burned his clothes with Ben’s body. Just like when Jong-su burned his mom’s clothes after she left. Another pattern that he cannot escape.