Screenwriter Kim Eun Hee’s newest drama is here, let us discuss “Revenant”!
Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.
To begin, let us define what Revenant is because I see some might be confused, its a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead.
Now onto the drama.
Screenwriter Kim Eun Hee is known for being one of the biggest OG screenwriters, almost anything she writes is an instant hit and it appears it’ll be the same for this drama.
If you look at her writing before “Kingdom,” her results were mixed at best in terms of script writing and ratings but I think she definitely refined her writing and evolved over the years to become whom we love today.
I would say “Jirisan” was not my favorite but “Kingdom” has a special place in our hearts. She blends fantasy and horror so well so I had high expectations for this one.
It seems a lot of research has gone into the making of “Revenant,” on top of that, the drama will only be 12 episodes long which is already a good sign.
She cuts right to the chase with this one and it feels like a classic OCN drama which I have greatly missed. Its sad OCN no longer makes kdramas. Its also surprising this is airing on SBS, sort of.
Regardless, SBS has been on the forefront of many of the trends and has managed to stay on the same wavelength as Netflix, tvN and JTBC, so they are not to be underestimated.
Some fans were surprised by the creepy element, but I liked it, I even wished it was creepier than this. To me, this isn’t THAT creepy, but it sorts of builds up as you watch. So, if you’re alone in your room watching at 12 am, its probably going to irk you or flat out scare you depending on how much horror you watch. I watch a lot, so this was cute.
Before I delve more into the characters, I wanted to discuss the director, Lee Jung-Lim. I especially loved the directing for the premiere episodes, a great job indeed. He has an interesting approach and lets the moment simmer rather than ‘jumpscare’ the audience, as a horror buff, I dislike jump scares because I find them cheap and in this drama, they’re either minimally used or only used when necessary which makes it even more creepy, this is how you do horror. So when you expect a change in music or a jumpscare, you’re instead confronted with silence and eerie presence, which I LOVED.
The screenwriter didn’t waste time introducing what issue Hae-Sang has, he’s upfront which I absolutely loved, he’s not annoyed people find him crazy either. The premiere episodes subvert classical kdrama tropes with ease and I loved seeing them.
I love how materialistic Lee Hong-Sae seems at first look, he’s hardly the second ‘sweet’ male anyone would expect. I can’t wait to learn more about him.
I also especially loved how this drama will not involve exorcism as per the director’s words in the press conference. Hae-Sang takes a rather different approach and solves issues but its not done in a heartwarming manner which I also liked. There is no ‘proper’ conclusion or reflection on what f*cked up sh*t happened, and I honestly found that refreshing for a drama with such a genre.
Its also interesting how the evil spirit that possessed San-Yeong kills with ease and kills everyone who annoys her even a bit. This adds many layers of complexity to the awful situation she’s in. San-Yeong is very stereotypically a nice kdrama female lead character but when that soul possesses her, another side comes out, a side that a lot of humans would show with how horrible some people can be around them, the more ‘humane’ response, but in this case it borders on creepy and vengeful because it’s a spirit. While the typical female lead would not even complain and just handle whatever annoying situation comes her way, when she’s possessed, San Yeong is a nightmare.
I bet with each episode; it will gradually become worse. And I am excited to see this unfold.
I think the relationship between San-Yeong and Hae-Sang will be a brotherly bond while her relationship with Lee Hong-Sae might be something different. I hope it develops romantically but I don’t see this happening because of the genre we’re dealing with.
I also think the high school student Hae-Sang talks to is a dead person, not alive.
With how much the premiere episodes progressed; I am guessing we’re in for a ride. The last scene of the 2nd episode was truly horrific, and it seems the cases we’ll deal with will be equally f*cked up. I think Kim Eun Hee is making a case for how horrible beings who aren’t worthy of being called humans create ‘evil spirits.’
I think this is the type of kdrama that is better suited to be binge-watched, I might wait a couple of weeks and binge-watch a bunch at once.
Those were my reflections on “Revenant,” I’m interested to know what you all thought of the premiere episodes. Did they captivate you or leave you wanting more?