Unlocked (2023) spoiler: A woman’s life is turned upside-down when a dangerous man gets a hold of her lost cell phone and uses it to track her every move.
Director: Kim Tae-joon
Writer: Akira Shiga (Japanese Novel)
Rated: 16+ (Violence)
IMDb: 6.4/10 (1.8K)
Lee Na-mi (played by Chun Woo-he) is a modern woman, like most people, who relies on her cell phone for just about everything. From waking up in the morning to scheduling work appointments, collecting precious memories, playing games to kill time, and binge-watching shows on Netflix, her phone is her constant companion. It’s even become a means of earning a living for her.
However, what sets her apart from others is her love for getting drunk until she reaches a point of no return.
One evening, Na-mi is out with her friends, enjoying drinks and karaoke. But as the night winds down, Na-mi finds herself stumbling onto the bus, heavily intoxicated at a level of 9.5 out of 10. It’s on this bus ride home that Na-mi’s world turns upside down when a man steals her beloved phone, leaving her feeling vulnerable and helpless.
On this night, Na-mi is out drinking and singing with her friends at a karaoke bar. As the night winds down and it’s time to go home. Na-mi is stumbling with a drunkenness level of 9.5 out of ten. Boarding the bus home, Na-mi’s drunken self takes over, causing her to let her cell phone down. In a moment of carelessness, a man snatches her phone away.
Screen Unlock Passcode
The next day, Na-mi is shocked to realize that she has lost her phone. Desperate to find it, she tries calling it, only to have a female voice on the other end pick it up. The voice on the line reveals that she has found Na-mi’s phone and will return it to her. The thought of meeting the kind stranger who went out of their way to help her fills Na-mi with overjoy.
Cut to a scene where a handsome young man, Oh Jun-yeong (played by Im Siwan), is shown holding Na-mi’s phone and another phone. Although he appears charming, it is evident that there is an underlying mental illness present in him. Jun-yeong then proceeds to listen to a pre-recorded interactive voice of a woman responding to Na-mi’s phone. He then tries to look for Na-mi’s information on Instagram and notes it down on a notepad, but he can’t seem to unlock her phone screen. In a fit of frustration, he slams the phone on the table corner, shattering the screen.
As time passes, Na-mi gets a phone call from that woman informing her, “I’m sorry. I dropped your phone and the screen broke. I left it at a repair shop and already paid. You can just pick it up.”
Na-mi quickly makes her way to the cell phone repair shop at the given address. The repair shop sits in an odd location with no customers or foot traffic, occupying a rented room. Before entering the store, Na-mi notices a sign instructing customers to wear a mask.
Jun-yeong greets Na-mi as she enters the store, wearing a mask and cap to cover his face. He places her phone on the counter and hands her a repair slip. The slip contains a box for Na-mi to enter the screen unlock passcode. Without any hesitation or suspicion, Na-mi enters the code and hands the slip back to Jun-yeong.
With the screen unlock passcode entered. Jun-yeong successfully installs spyware on Na-mi’s phone and clones all of her data onto another device. From this point forward, everything Na-mi does on her phone is visible to Jun-yeong.
Later that same evening, Jun-yeong visits Na-mi’s father’s cafe and orders a drink that is not on the menu – a “plum soda water”. Na-mi is unaware that Jun-yeong is the same person who repaired her phone earlier. But her father senses that something is off about him.
Throughout the night, Jun-yeong is able to collect all of Na-mi’s personal information, including her bank account balance, closest friends, and interests. At the end of his note-taking, Jun-yeong creates a “Those to cut off” consisting of seven people close to Na-mi, including five colleagues, one close friend, and her father.
As he continued investigating, Ji-man discovered an address that he believed was connected to the murder, where he expected to find his son. Sneaking into the rented room, he found a number of shocking pieces of evidence, including yellow nail polish, clothing, and empty phones, as well as a photo of a young woman and note paper with detailed personal information about the victim. He also found a business card with the name “Oh Jun-yeong,” indicating that his son had been using an alias as a senior company executive and stockbroker.
Meanwhile, Jun-yeong returned to the room and sensed that something was wrong. When he realized that Ji-man had entered, he planned to lure him out of the room so that he could destroy the evidence and frame Ji-man for covering up his son’s wrongdoing.
The Plum Tree Murder Case
Around the same time, the police receive a report of a body buried in the woods. The victim is a female with yellow-painted fingernails. Investigative officer Woo Ji-man (played by Kim Hee-won) discovers that the area where the body was found is also where his son, Woo Jun-yeong, had planted a plum tree as a child. He immediately suspects his son’s involvement in the murder, but keeps it to himself during the investigation.
As Ji-man continues to investigate, he discovers the address where his son, Woo Jun-yeong, is staying. Sneaking into the rented room. He finds numerous pieces of evidence that shock him. There are bottles of yellow nail polish, women’s clothing, and empty phones. He also discovers a photo of a young woman and notes containing personal information about the victim. To Ji-man’s surprise, he finds a business card with the name “Oh Jun-yeong,” which was the name his son had changed to from his original name. The card claims that he is a senior executive at a company. But it was all a deceitful act to trick the victim.
At that moment, Jun-yeong returns to the room and notices something is amiss. He discovers that Ji-man has been there and plans to lure him out of the room to destroy the evidence and make it look like his father destroyed the evidence to cover up his son’s wrongdoing.
The situation becomes more complex as Ji-man becomes emotionally attached to Jun-yeong, which confuses the experienced detective. Even though the evidence points to his son being the murderer, as a father, he cannot believe that someone like Woo Jun-yeong could commit such an inhumane act. He desperately does not want to accept it.
A Plum Soda Drink
That night, Jun-yeong visits Na-mi’s father’s cafe again and orders another plum soda. However, this time his behavior makes Na-mi’s father extremely suspicious. He warns Na-mi to be careful around Jun-yeong, as he seems untrustworthy. Na-mi brushes it off, thinking that Jun-yeong is just a customer ordering a drink.
Later that night, Jun-yeong sends a message to apologize to Na-mi’s father, pretending to be Na-mi. The father falls for the trick and unknowingly downloads a spyware app. Jun-yeong then sneaks into the father’s house and knocks him out with a hard object before tying him up.
The situation becomes even more complicated when Jun-yeong turns off Na-mi’s alarm clock and posts damaging pictures and messages about the boss and the company. This leads to a high number of product returns and the cancellation of a major company event, causing Na-mi to be fired and the company to go bankrupt. Jun-yeong has successfully eliminated six people close to Na-mi, including her father and five colleagues.
Na-mi confides in her close friend Jeong Eun-joo (played byKim Ye-won). Together, they report the phone hacking to the cyber police, but they are unable to prosecute without evidence. Na-mi contacts Jun-yeong, who works in digital security, to check her phone. He discovers that spyware was installed on her phone by someone close to her, causing Na-mi to suspect her best friend Eun-joo.
After hours of stress, Na-mi confronts Eun-joo and asks if she is responsible for everything. Eun-joo refuses to answer and instead sarcastically claims she did it all herself. She then storms out and tells Na-mi to never contact her again. Jun-yeong, who was secretly observing, is satisfied that his plan has worked.
As Jun-yeong obsesses over destroying Na-mi’s life, Ji-man continues to investigate the case. He is now convinced that his son, Woo Jun-yeong, is a murderer. And his goal is to catch “it” himself.
Officials found seven more bodies from the same area. Identifying the case as a serial murder case. Officer Ji-man traces it to a phone repair shop named Woo Jun-yeong and immediately rushes over there. Na-mi thinks that the spot where she got the spyware is probably at a phone repair shop and decides to go to the police and the repair shop as well.
However, Jun-yeong had already destroyed the repair shop. Officer Ji-man meets Na-mi and reveals that she is Jun-yeong’s next victim. He chooses not to tell the truth that Jun-yeong is a serial killer, but instead, lets Na-mi believe that Jun-yeong hacks her phone to sell confidential information on the dark web.
Na-mi pitches an idea to Ji-man that she will pretend she doesn’t know and invite Jun-yeong to come to her house, and at that time, Officer Ji-man will arrest him. That night, Jun-yeong arrives at Na-mi’s house as planned. However, when Officer Ji-man sees Jun-yeong, he realizes that he is not his son, Woo Jun-yeong, and chooses to let him go before his eyes.
When the plan is broken, Jun-yeong catches up and escapes capture. But the most nerve-wracking person is Officer Ji-man. Na-mi confirms that the man is Jun-yeong, but it is not his son Woo Jun-yeong. Ji-man is completely confused about what had happened. It is impossible for him not to recognize his son’s face, even though they haven’t seen each other in years.
Ji-man realizes that he has unanswered questions, but his priority is Na-mi’s safety. He drives Na-mi to her father’s house and writes a message on a piece of paper, instructing her to call periodically to signal that it is safe.
I Found Your Phone
Na-mi enters her father’s house and goes to sleep in her room. But is shocked to find Jun-yeong standing in front of her. She wonders how he managed to get into her father’s house. Jun-yeong then reveals that he has her father attached to the bathtub and that he is almost unconscious. He turns on the water to make her father choke to death. Na-mi begs him to spare her father’s life and offers to do anything in exchange.
Jun-yeong agrees and Na-mi tries to remain calm. She asks him why he had to do this to her, and he replies, “Because I found your phone.” The reason that shocks and confuses Na-mi.
Jun-yeong then orders Na-mi to tape her legs and ties her mouth shut. He bursts into laughter and tells her that he will kill both of them at once. Meanwhile, Officer Ji-man is driving back to the station when he receives a call that Woo Jun-yeong’s DNA matches an anonymous body found at a reservoir last year. He can hardly believe what he hears as he thought his son had died last year. Officer Ji-man immediately heads back to Na-mi’s father’s house.
Just in the nick of time, Ji-man manages to grab Jun-yeong and save Na-mi and her father from imminent death. However, Na-mi’s father is unconscious, and Ji-man’s police partner quickly delivers CPR while Ji-man throws a punch at Jun-yeong’s face. The psychopath lets out a mocking laugh and confesses to killing Woo Jun-yeong, setting up the evidence to blame him for the murder. Ji-man’s anger boils over at the psychopath’s words, and he takes out a short-barreled .38 revolver, aiming it at the psychopath’s head. But the psycho laughs at him and dares him to shoot.
Officer Jiman doesn’t dare to pull the trigger.
As Na-mi regains consciousness, she sees her father lying on the ground and feels a surge of resentment. She grabs the gun and fires two shots into the psychopath’s chest. As the gunfire stops, Na-mi hears her father’s voice saying, “Na-mi, my daughter, Na-mi.” She runs to embrace her father with tears flowing down her face.
Later revelations show that the serial murderer has no civil registration history because his parents did not report his birth, making him an intangible person with no history.
Watch Unlocked (2023) on Netflix : click here