Swedish premiere/Closing Film
Having miraculously survived an assault on a covert testing facility where she was genetically altered, the supernaturally gifted Ja-yoon finds love and comfort with a farmer’s family who become the young girl’s adoptive parents. Years later, with no recollection of her traumatic past, Ja-yoon signs up for a talent show when her telekinetic abilities manifest themselves once more. Before long she attracts the attention of both her paranormally gifted peers – subjects of similar genetic tampering – as well as the mercenaries who tried shutting down the experiment years ago. But Ja-yoon is no pushover and this wily teenager has more than a few tricks up her psychokinetic sleeve …
Don’t let the clunky English title fool you: The Witch. Part 1: The Subversion is just the fix adrenaline junkies need. Writer-director Park Hoon-jung (whose screenplay credits include Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil) delivers a riveting riff on Universal Soldier, but with sassy teens, superior acting and some of the year’s most bone-shattering action choreography. Kim Da-mi drops off a formidable calling card with her performance as Ja-yoon, a feature film debut that won her a best actress award at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival for introducing a “kick-ass new heroine”. The sweeping orchestral soundtrack helps give this blockbuster adventure an epic scope while the smart screenplay subverts the viewer’s expectations of the superhero genre.
“An often mesmerizing, occasionally kooky but thoroughly entertaining thriller” – Elizabeth Kerr, Hollywood Reporter
“[A] hell of a lot of fun and will both satisfy Korean action fans looking for something different, and leave them desperate for more” – Josh Hurtado, Screen Anarchy