Human Flesh, Anyone?
After last week’s double bill of horror, Strangers From Hell returns this week, with us diving deeper into the lives of the Eden Studio residents. With more of the dentist’s diabolical plan shown, the back-end of this episode is chock full of horror and tense segments. With a stylish blend of editing and well written dialogue, Strangers From Hell continues to impress.
We begin up on the rooftop, with Jong-Woo discussing his novel. The conversation with Moon-Zo quickly turns to the dark side as he steers the dialogue to the subject of murder, and methods of killing. Making a hasty retreat, Jong-Woo heads back to his room and immediately gets to work on his story, the words still floating fresh in his mind. Meanwhile, Deuk-Jong and Nam-Bok head out with the body and dig a large grave, the former cursing that he wasn’t able to do the deed himself.
After dreaming of his time in the army, Jong-Woo awakens to find Nam-Bok’s room empty. After asking the others where he may be, Jong-Woo places a clump of dust on his laptop, a way to prove once and for all whether anyone has been in his room or not. As he heads outside, he’s startled to find Nam-Bok standing in his doorway, watching him.
Ignoring him and heading out, Moon Zo tells Deuk-Jong to take care of Unit 310, as they watch Jong-Woo leave Eden Studio. Hiding in the depths of the Studio, the trio continue to hold Hee-Joong captive and, with his mouth wide open, Moon-Zo takes a scalpel and reassures him all will be over soon, as his teeth are taken out one by one.
Meanwhile back at the police station, Constable Jung-Hwa is approached by a lady asking about her husband. Given he’s gone missing, she tells the Detective that he was scared and it’s here she sees that he lived at Eden Studio too.
At work, Jong-Woo struggles to focus and finds himself hesitating in asking Byeong-Min for help, especially given the grief he received earlier in the series. As they all sit down to eat, a lovely montage segment kicks in as Hee-Joong’s teeth are removed. After eating some food, Jong-Woo continues to suffer from problems at work, blowing off Ji-Eun to work overtime to fix some of the issues.
Jung-Hwa follows the tip-off, thanks in part to Deuk-Jong’s rambling in the station, where she begins piecing together the past, painting a picture of who these people are currently residing in Eden Studio. As it turns out, there may be familial ties between the twins and Bok-Soom, as we see them working together to remove a dead body. As they drag it outside, Jung-Woo watches from the shadows, spying them heaving the victim down the darkened streets, muttering heave-ho as they do.
While spying on the twins, Moon-Zo arrives and immediately brings Jung-Woo into the fold, telling them they shouldn’t move the trash in the middle of the night. Shifty and being cautious over what they say, they explain the blood stains are simply food waste. Deciding to open up the bags, Jung-Woo jumps back in shocked horror while Moon-Zo tells them not to discard a dead cat in that manner.
Returning to Eden Studio, they sit down in the communal kitchen where Jung-Woo offers him a container full of food. After trying a piece of meat, he decides the food isn’t quite to his taste; something seems off. As the lights flicker, Moon-Zo cracks a joke about human flesh before smiling at Jung-Woo, leaving the chilling episode wide open.
Between cannibalism, dead cats and home-made dentists, it appears Jong-Woo may be right – Eden Studio is hell on Earth. The residents are suitably creepy too and throughout the episode there’s an unnerving sense that Jong-Woo has wandered into the snake pit, with vipers hungrily ready to strike at any moment. Although the opening half hour or so is a little slow as we switch back and forth between the Detective and Jong-Woo, the latter half of the episode definitely improves in pacing, delivering some really creepy and suspenseful moments.
Strangers From Hell is, so far, shaping up to be a decent little show and although the pacing isn’t always consistent, there’s enough thrills and horror here to make for a thoroughly enjoyable watch nonetheless. Quite where this one is likely to go next remains to be seen, but for now Strangers From Hell is shaping up to be one of the better supernatural offerings of the year.