IDOL is a thriller from South Korea that is screening at Fantasia 2019. Its original title is Woo Sang and it premiered at Berlin International Film Festival back in February 2019. This South Korean thriller should have your attention from its first line. Read more in our Idol review here.

Idol is yet another brilliant thriller from South Korea. The original title is Woo Sang and you should use this if searching for it on IMDb. The English title of “Idol” isn’t exactly an easy one to search.

In any case, the title of this thriller won’t matter once the first line of the movie has been spoken. If you’re anything like me, you’ll immediately think it’s just a bad translation. But no, it’s not. The very first line of the movie is “I jerked my son off”.

Yeah, that’s one way to get you both confused, disgusted and very intrigued as to what creepy weirdo is saying this.

Read more in our Idol review of this South Korean gem that just screened at Fantasia 2019.

Father, Son and the weird relationship

Since it’s a man saying that first line of “I jerked my son off”, you will know from the beginning that it’s a father who has been doing this deed. It’s a very strange monologue we get as the opening images (which does not include depictions of this act) run across the screen.

You will be very confused by the ending of this little “speech” and then you will want to watch the entire movie. As always with South Korean movies, it does run a bit long with a runtime of almost 2½ hours. But you will not be bored!

There’s more than one father and son relationship to create this story. Both are wrong in very different ways. In general, there are quite a lot of fascinating characters to keep you very entertained for the entirety of its runtime.

Also, there are some extremely fascinating women in this story. As it is always the case with these thrillers from South Korea, your questions will be answered… and probably lead to more questions.

Idol (2019) Review - Woo Sang

Weird, twisted and absolutely brilliant!

The cast in Idol – Woo Sang does have quite a few familiar faces. There’s Kyung-gu Sol who starred in the brilliant Memoir of a Murderer. His performance in both movies is enough to watch them!

Also, we have Woo-hee Chun who you might recognize from The Wailing or Mother. Both are other examples of South Korean movies to check out. You can read our review of The Wailing right here >

While the actual plot and storyline is both twisted and weird, it is also absolutely brilliant. It’s dark and brutal but also very real. Throughout the story, there’s a huge focus on the issue of illegal immigration in South Korea.

Specifically, the Chinese illegal immigrants who have to go through hell to reach South Korea.

In that sense alone, Idol has a very international appeal. And certainly, comparison to the USA and Mexico border issues is obvious. Not intentional, I believe, but simply obvious to anyone who takes a step back and knows what’s happening in the world.

Make sure you don’t miss Idol (aka Woo Sang)

Su-jin Lee directed Idol and this is only his second feature film. He also directed Han Gong-ju back in 2013, which I regretably haven’t watched yet. However, you can be sure I will watch it as soon as I get the chance. 

Whenever you’ll be able to watch Idol, you really do need to make sure you do. Especially if you’re a fan of thrillers from South Korea. We absolutely love South Korean horror and thriller movies and Idol – Woo Sang is definitely one we’re recommending.

It’s weird, twisted and absolutely brilliant!

Idol (or Woo Sang) is playing at film festivals and just had its North American premiere at Fantasia 2019.


Director: Lee Su-jin
Writer: Lee Su-jin
Stars: Sul Kyung-gu, Han Seok-kyu, Chun Woo-hee


When you go into politics, it’s better to not have skeletons in your closet — or a bloody body at your doorstep. Councilor Koo Myung-hui aspires to the governorship, until the day his son Johan commits a hit-and-run. Worse, Johan brings the body of his hapless victim home. Unyeilding as an oak, Myung-hui demands that Johan turn himself in, and dump the corpse by the side of the road to diminish his guilt. After the victim’s identification, his father, Joon-sik, is devastated by the loss of his boy, Bu-nam, to whom he had dedicated his life, due to the intellectual disability that afflicted him. Disgruntled with Johan’s lenient sentence, he conducts an investigation and discovers that the circumstances surrounding the incident are much more nebulous and distorted than they appear. Only Ryeon-hwa, an illegal Chinese immigrant who was to be married to Bu-nam to obtain citizenship, holds the key to the riddle. Myung-hui and Joon-sik both seek her, for diametrically opposed reasons.

I usually keep up-to-date with all the horror news, and make sure Heaven of Horror share the best and latest trailers for upcoming horror movies. I love all kinds of horror. My love affair started when I watched 'Poltergeist' alone around the age of 10. I slept like a baby that night and I haven't stopped watching horror movies since. The crazy slasher stuff isn't really for me, but hey, to each their own. I guess I just like to be scared and get jump scares, more than being disgusted and laughing at the grotesque. Also, Korean and Spanish horror movies made within the past 10-15 years are among my absolute favorites.
Nadja "HorrorDiva" Houmoller
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