New Breed of Killer
The Hammer Comes Down
In 2003, South Korea was rocked to its core, courtesy of a gruesome and violent serial murderer. Targeting wealthy victims around the city, this murderer bludgeoned his victims with a hammer and staged the scene to make it look like a homicide/robbery. If that wasn’t bad enough, in 2004 he turned his attention to sex workers and went on a big killing spree until his subsequent arrest. Yeah, this one is not for the fainthearted.
Much like many of the true crime series on Netflix, The Raincoat Killer is a thorough, well-written documentation of the infamous Yoo Young-Chul. The three episodes work well to tell a larger story, with some clever narration about the history and culture of Korea at the time.
Interestingly, the first episode coincides this killer’s motives with the growing divide between rich and poor on the streets. The second turns its attention toward the attitude the everyday Korean has toward sex workers before the third hones in on Young-Chul himself and what drove this man to commit such atrocious acts.
Unlike some Netflix docs, The Raincoat Killer never outstays its welcome. With each episode clocking in at around 45 minutes or so, the three parts complement one another nicely and tell a much larger story that certainly resonates to this day – especially the commentary about that rich and poor divide.
Visually, The Raincoat Killer uses a combination of light reenactment footage, crime scene photos and a neat map that helps to show the general area. Each crime is marked with a growing blood spatter, which also reinforces the extent of this man’s devastating murder spree – especially during May and June of 2004.
Narrated entirely in Korean (there are dubs for other countries but it’s the annoying kind that distractedly talks over the native tongue) the dialogue is insightful and largely complements the eerie soundtrack that spikes during particularly unnerving or tense moments.
If you’ve never heard of this case, strap yourself in and prepare for a very gruesome ride. The Raincoat Killer is a nasty, gnarly case that slips into the underbelly of Korean culture and refuses to let up until the end of the final episode.
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Verdict - 8/10