A Record of Sweet Murder - A Record of Sweet Murder( Blu Ray) [Unearthed Films - 2019]A Record of Sweet Murder is a Korean/ Japanese found-footage film, that’s both surprisingly tense, often brutal, with moments of jet black humor, and a devilishly twisting & turning plot. The films a largely one location affair- focusing on the meeting between a Serial killer, and a female journalist. The release appears on Unearthed Films- as either a Blu Ray or DVD.
A Record Of Sweet Murder (Aru yasashiki satsujinsha no kiroku) original appeared in 2014 and was written & directed by Kôji Shiraishi(Grotesque, Cult, and Carved- aka A Slit-Mouthed Women). And it’s fair so say it’s one of the more effective & memorable found footage films I’ve seen in some time- been a real roller coaster ride of the film- that moves from fraught tension, mild panic, through to brutality with flecks of black-as-night humor, onto sadness & a decidedly surprising end.
The films begins with young South Korean journalist Soyeon(Kkobbi Kim) and Japanese cameraman Tashiro( played by director Shiraishi) making their way to a seemingly abandoned tower block. They are going to meet Sangjoon- a serial killer who's on the run from a mental hospital, who went to junior school with Soyeon- so he believes he can trust her. The whole film largely takes place in one of the rooms in the rundown tower block- with Shiraishi effectively using the found footage format, with a great tight as a drum script, some powerful & believable acting from the small cast- all topped off with a clever & well-conceived plot.
I won’t say too much more about the films unfold, what happens in the room, or the outcome of the whole thing. As this really is a film you need to go into fairly blind to- so the twists & turns are at there maximum impact- and you go the ride, that clearly director Shiraishi wanted you to take you on.
As mentioned in my introduction the film appears on infamous Uneathered Films, so it is brutal at times, but it’s certainly not as extreme or grueling as the labels American guinea pig series or some of their other titles . The blu ray is very much of a barebones affair featuring just a trailer for the film, as well as a collection Uneathered Film trailers- it would have been nice to have an interview with director or some behind the scenes stuff- but maybe there’s was an opportunity for this, or there was never any behind the scenes stuff.
If like me you’ve become more than a little jaded by the found footage side of horror in recent years- I think you find A Record of Sweet Murder real revelation, as it manages to utilize the genre in a very punchy & clever manner- thankful, for the most part, sidesteping the clichéd & predictable elements of the genre. All to create a really great & memorable horror film, that also manages to add some fairly original touches to the serial killer thriller genre along the way too.Roger Batty