NIGHT IN PARADISE is a new Netflix thriller from South Korea. Behind the title, that sounds more like an erotic drama, you’ll find a brutal crime story. As always, full of interesting characters. Read our full Night in Paradise movie review here!
NIGHT IN PARADISE is a new Netflix thriller that should please most fans of South Korean genre films. Despite a title (and plot) that easily sounds more like an erotic romance drama than the brutal crime-thriller it is! Sometimes, I just don’t understand these decisions and I just hope people will still seek this out.
It is – in the true style of movies from South Korea – full of well-written characters. Also, while it might be slow-burn at times, there are extremely bloody and violent moments throughout. Especially the very ending of this movie is literally bathed in blood.
Continue reading our Night in Paradise movie review below and find it on Netflix.
South Korean mob life
Night in Paradise plays out in settings riddled with crime. You might see a fisherman or someone running a restaurant, but all are part of the mob. Often not by choice, but still, their life is now determined by what the current boss wants.
This is far from the first movie set in the mob scene in South Korea. It is one of the better ones though. Also, much of this movie doesn’t actually take place in the hustle and bustle of the big city – where mobsters often operate.
After a terrible tragedy (and an act of revenge played out), a young man, from one of the gangs running the city, must go into hiding. Since this movie is mostly his story, we leave the city with him which leads to a totally different setting. With different gangs – both South Korean and Russian.
Brilliant performances all around
Every character in Night in Paradise is played by an actor delivering a stellar portrayal.
Um Tae-goo (I Saw the Devil) plays the lead character Tae-gu and delivers a nuanced and likable character. Yes, he is a criminal along with most of the character gallery. However, with him, we learn that there is indeed honor amongst thieves.
Park Ho-san is Mr. Yang (or Yang Do-soo) and he is definitely a slick bastard. You’ll see. From the second he’s introduced, it’s easy to see that he has his own agenda. You’ll probably recognize the actor from the Netflix horror movie The Call if you’ve watched that one (which you really should).
Recommended reading: Our review of the South Korean Netflix horror-mystery The Call here >
Cha Seoung-won plays Chief Ma who manages to do the same. Despite being higher up in the crime syndicate, he knows the importance of loyalty on all levels. As the key female character, Jae-Yeon, we have Jeon Yeo-been (After My Death) who delivers a very strong performance in so many ways.
Watch Night in Paradise on Netflix
Park Hoon-jung is the writer and director of Night in Paradise. He also wrote and directed the crime thriller V.I.P. from 2017, and clearly has a talent for thrillers with crime elements. Also, his movies do tend to be very bloody in extremely realistic ways. People do not get stabbed in his movies and just “brush it off”.
For many fans of South Korean movies, another title might be a better one to name-drop. Park Hoon-jung wrote the screenplay for I Saw the Devil. That movie is simply a masterpiece and with ratings from more than 100,000 users on IMDb and a rating of 7.8, this one has many fans.
We’ve included it on our “Must-Watch” list of genre films from South Korea. If you’re a fan of I Saw the Devil, then you should enjoy Night in Paradise. It’s not quite as impressive, but the brutality and flawed characters with realistic actions and reactions, make for a rather amazing movie.
Night in Paradise is out on Netflix from April 9, 2021.
Written & Directed by: Park Hoon-jung
Cast: Um Tae-goo, Jeon Yeo-been, Cha Seoung-won, Lee Ki-young, Park Ho-san
Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons.