There are movies that are warped, and then there are the Kim Ki-Duk movies: films that take you somewhere you never wanted to go in the first place. Shot entirely with no dialogue, Moebius is going for offensive, shocking and dramatic while really only pulling off one of those achievements.
After an act of betrayal and a horrible mix up, a wife (Lee Eun-Woo), a father (Cho Jae-Hyun), and a son (Seo Young-Joo)set down on a road of sadistic psycho sexual games that will ultimately destroy them all.
While I totally understand why this was a hit on the festival circuit, for the general viewing public Moebius is nothing more than a cavalcade of severity and brutality without much genuine purpose to any of it.
Ki-Duk has developed a reputation for being one of the more visually and thematically severe auteurs to ever come out of Korea, but this his reputation way too far. Its graphic depictions of rape, incest, self-abuse, and graphic mutilation are not entertaining, they’re just terrible at best and amateurish at worst. He’s a terrible filmmaker.
While I can comprehend and even occasionally appreciate the voyeuristic tendencies of some of the things that we see, the bulk of what’s on screen is just sadistic nonsense. Just when you think that you have seen everything by sitting through the already tiresome and depressing first two acts of the film, the third act just gets to be flat out bonkers in a way that’s not only morally repugnant, but even worse when you realize that it doesn’t make a lick of goddamn sense.
This film certainly wasn’t made to be “fun,” but it also wasn’t made to be thoughtful or insightful, either. None of the characters are sympathetic or likable, but they are so free of any dimension whatsoever that the film is just 90 minutes of watching them do terrible things to each other, other people and themselves. It’s stupid and gross and told with the straightest face possible; a degree of self-seriouness in trash cinema that’s unparalleled and unwanted. Severed penises, self mutilation, rape and violence need to have context to the story. You might as well be watching a snuff film.
Is there any legitimate kind of artistry in a film like Moebius? Not by even the loosest definition. All I saw was a depraved sack of sexually nihilistic bullshit designed to only elicit the most hollow of human responses. This movie is fucked.