Killing Romance

South Korea | 2023 | 107 min. | Lee Won-suk

When a studious young man and the famous retired actress next door fall in love, the two conspire to murder her vain, possessive husband. An absurd, ridiculously heightened delight of a musical romantic comedy co-starring the late Lee Sun-kyun (Parasite).

Come to the May 19 screening for a chance to win physical media goodies from Scarecrow Video!

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Seattle International Film Festival Closing Night

Close out the 50th Seattle International Film Festival in style! We’ve planned some fabulous festivities to wrap this year’s Festival, and you’re invited.

If you thought you’d figured out what to expect from South Korean cinema, think again. Killing Romance is a fairy tale, murder revenge plot, rom-com, musical, and cult comedy all deliriously rolled into one. As director Lee Won-suk instructed Deadline, “Don’t ask why, just go with it.” When superstar actress Hwang Yeo-Rae (Lee Ha-nee) takes a hard fall from grace, she decides to lick her wounds on a tropical getaway. There, she meets and marries the uber-rich Jonathan Na (the late, great Lee Sun-kyun of Parasite fame). But when their romance sours, Yeo-Rae allies herself with super-fan Kim Beom-Woo (Gong Myoung) to haphazardly murder her way out of her gilded cage. Cue death saunas, a telepathic ostrich, and gigantic song-and-dance numbers. This comedy of errors reaches bonkers Shakespearean heights thanks to the talents at its helm. Director Lee’s penchant for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink aesthetics creates a truly fantastical vehicle for his stars’ high-voltage performances. Lee Ha-nee pits her character’s ethereal beauty against utter ridiculousness to comedic perfection. But it’s Lee Sun-kyun who stuns, playing his flamboyant super villain so epically big, Mark Ruffalo’s POOR THINGS lothario feels underwhelming by comparison. Beneath the panache, Killing Romance critiques misogyny, environmental destruction, and the toxicity of the Korean entertainment industry with enough seriousness to make this gonzo cult hit bound for global adoration.

—Hannah Baek

  • Original Language Title: 킬링 로맨스
  • Director: Lee Won-suk
  • Principal Cast: Lee Ha-nee, Lee Sun-kyun, Gong Myoung, Bae Yu-ram
  • Country: South Korea
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 107 min.
  • Producer: Mo Il-young
  • Screenplay: Park Jung-yae
  • Cinematographers: Kang Min-woo
  • Editors: Jeong Ji-eun
  • Music: Dalpalan
  • Filmography: The Royal Tailor (2015), How to Use Guys With Secret Tips (2013)
  • Language: Korean
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: K-MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT