OLDBOY and Genre OLDBOY contains many different genres, some of which include: Drama, mystery, thriller, horror (J horror) , fantasy, torture porn, revenge and action. OLDBOY has extreme hybridity within the film OLDBOY is seen as being chopped into four different parts with different genres in each, this kind of film making isn’t usually seen in most mainstream films, however, Park breaks the rules of the classical filmmaking, which in turn makes this a new wave film.
Horror. The films starts out with Oh imprisoned in a small room. Much like the in Saw 1 or Hostel. This form of horror is known as ‘torture porn’. This in terms of oldboy is seen through the ideas that Lee gets pleasure and enjoyment from keeping Oh captive. Also the colour wash is reminscent of popular torture porn films and other korean new wave films. The film language used is also similar to that used in torture porn films, the green filter and the look of the dirty hotel room makes the scene resemble that of a typical torture porn film. Another sub-genre of horror that is seen through oldboy is ‘J horror’. This form of horror mainly focuses on the idea of ghosts and spirits. The scene where Oh is fantasising about ants this is very representational of j-horror films.
Action Oldboy also uses typical conventions of ‘action’ films, elements of the film have clearly been influenced by famous action films, this is seen through iconography, characters and fight sequences. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wha0brbb_44 Oh is a typical protagonist played as the action hero.
OLDBOY and Narrative Oldboy rejects mainstream narrative expectations. The film doesn’t follow all the conventions of the classical narrative system, which is what the audience expects from mainstream films. For example cause and effect is only loosely related and we do not always know how they are related until later in the narrative.Eg– why has Lee imprisoned Oh in the first place? Or what has happened with his daughter.This means we are often quite confused about what is happening, Hollywood films would not let us go for such a long time for fear of loosing us. All enigmas are not answered by the end of the film, as we are not sure if Oh was made to forget that Mido was his daughter or not.
OLDBOY and Character The characters in oldboy are nothing like what you’d find in a typical hollywood film. All the characters are extremely complex and many of their attributes are never fully explored or explained. There is no clear representation of hero and villain. Lee’s character is extreme in the way he got revenge on Oh yet by the end of the film we are shown his inner turmoil and understand more the reasons for his actions. Throughout the film we want Oh to succeed yet as the film goes on we start to realisehis motives are not as pure as we would expect in a mainstream film. So we therefore don’t sympathise with him as much as we might’ve done.