Film Review: THE DIVINE FURY (South Korea 2019) ***

The Divine Fury Poster

An MMA fighter helps an exorcist fight evil.


Joo-hwan Kim


Joo-hwan Kim

From both South Korea comes a film combining two genres – MMA action and horror exorcism.  The story can be summed up in one line – an MMA figure helps an exorcist fight evil.  Sounds cheesy and the film is cheesy, but that does not mean it is not entertaining.  Given what it is, THE DIVINE FURY delivers action in a gothic (and Asian) setting.

After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu (Seo-joon Park) abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself.  Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until mysterious wounds appear in the palms (some scary special effects here) of his hands. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn (Sung-ki Ahn), hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.

The film runs just over two hours, allowing director/writer Kim not to rush things and tell his story.  The film opens with Yong-hu as a boy.  He has already lost his mother.  In church with his father, he has expressed doubts of his faith.  When the father dies in an accident involving a sobriety check on drunk driving, (his dad is a cop), Yong-hu blames God for it.  The film moves forward in time when Yong-hu is now all grown and a MMA fighter.  He takes out his anger with God on his opponent.

Director Km plants a few seeds of audience anticipation at the film’s start.  When Yong-hu’s father stops the car, the driver has red laser eyes signifying evil.  The tattoo on Yong-yu’s MMA opponent also bears some resemblance to evil.

Sung-ki Ahn who plays Father Ahn is a famous Korean actor who has won many international awards.  Park is also a handsome, attractive actor who should attract the younger crowd.

The film’s special effects especially the make-up are commendable.  The film is not over-violent and most of the violence is implied, which works better.  The fights are well choreographed – e.g. MMA vs. possessed child climbing on walls and ceiling.  For a South Korean exorcism film, there are enough references and quotes from the Bible like the demon crying out: “We are Legion”, from the Gospel of St. Mark.

The film is released in DVD and BluRay formats this past week (Tuesday) from Well Go USA Entertainment.  The DVD comes complete with an English version of the film, the making of the film, the trailer (as well as trailers of other titles) and of course, the original version of the film.  THE DIVINE FURY is well worth a look.  And if you liked THE DIVINE FURY Father Ahn will be back in the next movie called THE GREEN EXORCIST.