LOST IN PERFECTION on Netflix is a crime-thriller from Taiwan. With a runtime close to two hours, it’s quite long, but also intriguing. Exactly like we see in many South Korean productions. Read our full Lost in Perfection movie review here!

LOST IN PERFECTION is a new Netflix crime thriller about a romance scammer. While the whole concept of catfishing is very familiar, this story is next level. The victims of this romance scam tend to end up murdered.

It’s a movie from Taiwan, and the runtime is similar to what we’d expect from a South Korean movie. Almost two hours (officially at 1 hour and 54 minutes), which means it’s slow-burn and could’ve been tighter in the storytelling. At the same time, it also has several angles to cover and characters to go into depth with.

Continue reading our Lost in Perfection movie review below. Find it on Netflix from February 8, 2024.

Previously known as Love is a Bitch

While I understand the title change, I have to say that the previous title “Love is a Bitch” had a nice ring to it. Especially as the main focus in this Netflix crime thriller is a female romance scammer. The story begins somewhere else, though, as this is very much a character-driven story.

We meet the ambitious TV anchor Li-Mei, who doesn’t come across as the most charming person. She’s getting married but seems to very much put her husband low on her list of priorities. In fact, her father comes before her husband, and she makes it obvious in their wedding picture!

Li-Mei’s life changes drastically when she discovers her dad (a long-time widower) could be the latest victim of a romance scam.

Lost in Perfection (2023) – Review | Netflix Crime-Thriller

The “Ugly Femme Fatale” is based on a true story

In Lost in Perfection, the romance scammer has the very nasty nickname of “The Ugly Femme Fatale”. This is quite disgusting and clearly a clickbait thing, but since she’s also suspected of murdering her victims, I can’t get too upset about this.

Well, I can on a principal level, but not in her particular case. It just seems silly as her appearance clearly wasn’t an issue when it came to romancing her would-be victims.

In any case, what’s more interesting to me is that this “Ugly Femme Fatale” who is accused of killing the men she dated, is based on a true story. The movie was inspired by Kijima Kanae, who was a Japanese fraudster and serial killer.

She was also dubbed “The Konkatsu Killer” – read more about Kijima Kanae on Wikipedia here. And yes, the fact that “Ugly Femme Fatale” was inspired by a real serial killer case where the alias was “The Konkatsu Killer” does make me upset all over again. I mean, come on, it’s a nice hook, but also very ugly in itself.

Watch Lost in Perfection on Netflix now!

Lost in Perfection marks the live-action debut of Sung Hsin-ying, and I can only imagine this is the first of many movies from her. Previously, Sung Hsin-ying worked in animation and is an award-winning animation director.

As already mentioned, Lost in Perfection was inspired by a true story from Japan about a serial killer who found her victims through romance scams. The writer and director of this new movie was Sung Hsin-ying who has a background in journalism.

Obviously, this explains how she would come across the story about the Japanese serial killer. Sung Hsin-ying then wrote her original screenplay inspired by the factual reports about Kijima Kanae, which is a solid starting point.

When reading about the Japanese fraudster and serial killer, it’s obvious that this story is very much the same. Well, with changes in characters and locations, of course.

Admittedly, this is a fascinating story and as such, I can only recommend it to fans of crime thrillers. Sure, it could’ve been tighter, but in the vein of South Korean productions that are character-driven, it does make sense that it isn’t.

Lost in Perfection is on Netflix from February 8, 2024.

Details

Director: Sung Hsin-yin
Writer: Sung Hsin-yin
Cast: Ivy Shao, Lin Mei-hsiu, Rhydian Vaughan, Simon Li, Figaro Tseng, Lee Tien-chu

Plot

A news anchor suspects her father’s fiancée may be a murderous con artist, but trying to prove it leads her down a dangerous path.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard