Setting Up The Finale
Episode 9 of Strangers From Hell acts as the foundation for the finale to follow. With a big cliffhanger and everything left hanging in the balance, Strangers From Hell looks set for a dramatic showdown, even if this episode is used predominantly to move its various players to that point.
While Kang is taken care of by Moon-Zo, the episode begins with Jong-Woo startled by Ji-Eun and holding her up at knifepoint. Realizing what he’s doing, he drops the knife before hurrying after her and trying to explain. Unfortunately, she tells him they need a break and he watches as she speeds away. Meanwhile, Jung-Hwa continues to investigate and finds an abandoned car, accompanied by syringe marks on the track. As she talks to the other crime scene reporters, she finds more clues linking everything back to the Studio.
While Nam-Bok antagonises his victim, Deuk-Jong hides sim cards holding a recorded conversation he had with the reporter last time out, including information that there’s two killers not one.
Outside, Jong-Woo stumbles around trying to make sense of what’s happening before speaking to himself in the mirror. Here, his reflection springs to life and tells him he’s responsible for two deaths. While he struggles to keep a grip on reality, a captured Kang is antagonized and tortured by Deuk-Jong. He decides to play a game, letting Kang go and seeing how far he can get away. With the time up, a murderous Deuk-Jong chases after him down the hallway of the fourth floor with an axe. Despite Bok-Soon seemingly helping him hide, he soon learns this is one cruel trick as Deuk-Jong finds him. Laughing, our maniacal Studio resident plunges the axe into Kang’s skull.
Offering up the sim cards to the reporter in his car, Deuk-Jong speeds off and, as the reporter begins writing, Moon-Zo suddenly appears at his window. Inevitably, Moon-Zo ends up killing him and after phoning in the death to the police, heads off while Jung-Hwa makes it to the scene of the crime and sees the devastation firsthand.
While Jong-Woo continues to grapple with his own mental state, Ji-Eun is confronted by Moon-Zo who tries to give her a bag, claiming it’s from Jong-Woo. Hurrying away, she finds herself ambushed and held captive; a ploy to get Jong-Woo to return to the Studio. It works too, and as Jong-Woo rushes to the studio he deliberates whether he’ll make it out alive or not.
With everything resting on the finale, Strangers From Hell has been an enjoyable but unremarkable series. While some of the horror has been quite good, these later episodes pale in comparison to the early work done with the show. It’s certainly not a bad drama but it’s unlikely to be one remembered for long after the final credits roll. I’ve certainly enjoyed this one though and hopefully the finale ends things on a high.