Always trust the South Koreans to whip up nightmarish delights! Don’t Buy the Seller, directed by Park Hee-Kon, has all the qualities of a typical South Korean thriller, and it appears to be an extremely modern-day film. It deals with troubling things like online scamming, and what it shows is something that could be happening to any of us. It is so relevant that it might genuinely get to you. The film is quite a great, nail-biting experience, though, with a climax that is predictable but also makes sense. Let’s take a closer look at Don’t Buy the Seller.
What Happens In The Movie?
A young man’s dream of selling an almost new iMac goes horribly wrong when he invites the buyer to his house and gets brutally murdered. The buyer is obviously our villain, who has a sinister agenda. He puts all the stuff about the victim on the internet, and from there on, a chain of events would go on to effectively ruin the life of a young woman until she decided to fight back.
Who’s Soo-Hyon, And What’s Her Trouble?
Soo-Hyon’s life situation couldn’t get any worse when her washing machine malfunctions right after moving to a new apartment. She has to deal with unforeseen trouble at work and her sleazy, overbearing boss. Naturally, it’s quite obvious that she would totally jump at the opportunity of getting an almost new washing machine at a dirt-cheap price. Little does she know that this one decision will make her life a pit full of misery for the upcoming days.
It begins with her getting a damaged product at her doorstep. And when she tries to raise a complaint with the one who sold it to her, she can’t find the person on the internet anymore. Realizing she got scammed, Soo-Hyon does what anyone would do—seek help from the police. Sadly, the police don’t take her that seriously, which only increases her level of frustration. The sleazy boss keeps hitting on her and also being unnecessarily hard on her. The only good thing in her life is probably her friend and colleague Dal-Ja, who is always there for her, through thick and thin. But Dal-Ja has her own life and a questionable husband who would think she’s having an affair if she stays outside the home.
What Happens To Soo-Hyon?
Tired of not getting any help regarding the scam and also of life not getting any better, Soo-Hyon makes it a point to do something about the scammer. With a little bit of effort, she manages to find (most likely) the same person, attempting to scam other people with the help of many fake profiles. Soo-Hyon does the right thing by warning all the internet strangers who seem eager at the prospect of buying electronic gadgets at cheap prices, just like Soo-Hyon did. But this irks the scammer, and he decides to get back at Soo-Hyon by making her already terrible life a hundred times worse. It starts with the basic things people usually do as pranks, like random food deliveries coming at the door at odd hours and claiming she is the one who ordered even though she clearly hasn’t. Her phone is obviously hacked, and the scammer pretty much has all the information, with which he can literally toy with her. But the scammer is very much into creepier things, so he now starts sending random men to Soo-Hyon’s house, asking for casual sex, thinking she’s the one who invited them. This traumatizes Soo-Hyon so badly that she even considers paying a lot of money, adhering to the scammer’s demand. But she holds back and seeks help from the police again. Fortunately for her, the police, especially Detective Zoo and his partner Detective Na, show actual intent. It further helps when Zoo manages to find the dead body of the guy the scammer killed initially.
Who Was The Scammer?
Think about how you always see advertisements for the things you were just randomly searching for a while ago on your social media, and at times you fall for them. This film is a reminder that you shouldn’t fall for such posts. However, even with a strongly relevant message like that, Don’t Buy the Seller never feels preachy for a moment. I think the entire point of the movie is to establish (and warn us about) the fact that literally anyone with digital knowledge can do something like this in this day and age. Soo-Hyon couldn’t possibly imagine the harmless CCTV guy who came into her apartment to fix the cameras (as per the rules of her new apartment building) being anything else! But it happened to be that guy, not her disgusting loser of a boss, who becomes more and more irritating with each passing moment. I would even say that watching the whining dude get beaten up by the creepy psychopath of a scammer was actually quite satisfying.
Does The Scammer Pay For His Sins?
The thing about Don’t Buy the Seller is that it doesn’t try to do anything out of the box. It goes exactly as you would imagine. There’s no crazy twist, per se, nor any sort of ambiguity. Everything here is pretty straightforward, and the climax is not an exception. So it is quite evident that the scammer would be apprehended by the end. But Detective Zoo and Soo-Hyon have to go through a lot of trouble to get there. Now determined to catch the criminal, Soo-Hyon tries to catch the scammer by offering him bait. Before that, though, the scammer tried to kidnap Soo-Hyon, beat up Zoo, got chased by detective Na while getting away, and effectively suffered a freak accident that took Na’s life. With his partner getting killed just like that, now even Zoo has a personal angle here.
And the trap actually works, despite all your skepticism! However, it can’t be cinematic if there’s no bloodshed and some solid hand-to-hand combat. So, the scammer does every possible thing to eliminate Soo-Hyon and get away, but this is a Soo-Hyon who doesn’t easily give up. And then we have Detective Zoo. Together, they succeed in handling the scammer and ending his story. We don’t particularly get a wholesome epilogue, but with no hints for a sequel, we can fairly assume that Soo-Hyon’s life from this point on is going to be a lot less stressful.