Katerina Diamond’s Top 3 Korean Noir films


The newly crowned queen of grip-lit, Katerina Diamond, is back with a new novel The Secret and we where very interested to discover that while not writing crime novels she likes nothing more than a Korean horror thriller so we asked her to share three of her favourites with us.

The plot of her latest book follows Bridget Reid who has a secret, one that could get her killed but she would need to escape the man who is keeping her locked in a basement bedroom first. DS Imogen Grey is good at keeping secrets – truths she’d never reveal to her colleagues at Exeter Police. She worked hard to get where she is – she nearly died for it. Now her past is catching up with her. As DS Grey and her partner DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder. And they realise that some secrets are better left buried.

Drawing from the violent and hard-edged innovative Asian thrillers which we here at Love Horror also have a passion for The Secret is a dark and twisting tale that will captivate fans of her impressive debut The Teacher by shedding light on the darkness of troubled detective DS Imogen Grey. With its original plot and a sharp eye for exposing the disintegration of lives into crime and depravity, The Secret will be sure to keep you feverishly turning the pages until its secrets are all but revealed.

Katerina said “The thing I am drawn to about Korean cinema is that they don’t shy away from the controversial and difficult topics.” Check out three of her top films below and the reasons why.

Oldboy (2003)
Katerina Diamond: Part of director Chan-Wook Park’s vengeance trilogy (all of which are equally hard-hitting) Old boy is the story of a man who wakes up to find himself captive in a room for 15 years – for a reason he doesn’t know and then on day he wakes up outside – he is given 5 days to find out what happened to him and why. There are two major twists in the story, the protagonist is faced with a choice at the end and after he finds out the truth he does something shocking in order to keep living a lie. There are many moments of brilliance in the movie, especially the acting by Min-Sik Choi who plays Oldboy – for fans of films like Memento (Guy Pearce).

I Saw the Devil (2010)
Katerina Diamond: Also starring Min-Sik Choi as a psychopathic serial killer who targets young women – he brutalises and murders the fiancée of a police officer, When the police officer discovers who has killed his girlfriend he tracks him, and in disguise follows and torments the killer, hurting him every time he goes to hurt someone else. Next comes a violent and bloody game of cat and mouse as the serial killer and the fiancée go after each other. Again the film focuses on revenge, a topic I am rather fond of. It’s not just the violence that is compelling but the ideas behind what makes someone into the kind of person who does those things – as we watch the police officer become more and more extreme in his violence towards the criminal – there are moments when it’s hard to retain any sympathy for him. – for fans of films like Death Wish (Charles Bronson).

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Katerina Diamond: Another by Chan-Wook Park from the vengeance trilogy. After spending 13 years in prison for the murder of a young boy – Lady Vengeance comes out to find the real killer, a man who kills young children. She then gathers all of the parents of his victims and together they put an end to him. There are some really horrible moments in this movie – but even though the woman becomes quite sadistic herself, you can’t help but be on her side. for fans of films like Kill Bill (Uma Thurman).”

The Secret by Katerina Diamond is published in paperback, £7.99, 20th October 2016


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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