The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (Korean마녀; RRManyeo) is a 2018 South Korean mystery horror action film[2][3] written and directed by Park Hoon-jung.[4][5][6][7][8][9] A sequel, The Witch: Part 2. The Other One, was released on 15 June 2022.[10]

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion
The Witch-Part 1. The Subversion.jpg
Theatrical poster
Revised RomanizationManyeo
Directed byPark Hoon-jung
Written byPark Hoon-jung
Produced byPark Hoon-jung
Yeon Young-sik
StarringKim Da-mi
Jo Min-su
Choi Woo-shik
Park Hee-soon
CinematographyKim Young-ho
Lee Teo
Edited byKim Chang-ju
Music byMowg
Gold Moon Film Production
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • 27 June 2018 (2018-06-27)
Running time
125 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
BudgetUS$5.5 million
Box officeUS$24.4 million[1]


A young girl escapes from a mysterious laboratory after a violent incident that leaves many dead. Two members that run the lab, Dr. Baek and Mr. Choi, consider her dead. The girl collapses on a farm, where she is discovered by the owner, Mr. and Mrs. Goo. His wife nurses the girl back to health and adopts her.

10 years later, the girl, named Ja-yoon, is living a normal life without any memory of her past. Her family is struggling financially, her mother is showing early signs of dementia, and Ja-yoon is suffering periodic bouts of migraines. In an effort to earn money, she decides to audition for a national singing contest that promises a large reward. She impresses the judges with her special talent - the telekinetic ability to make the microphone levitate. This makes Dr. Baek and Mr Choi realize that Ja-yoon is the girl that escaped and send men to recapture her.

On her way to Seoul for the second round of the audition, Ja-yoon is approached by a man named Nobleman, who claims to know her. After the audition, she avoids an abduction by Dr. Baek's men. A group of armed men barge into her home and hold her family at gunpoint. Entering a trance, Ja-yoon dispatches the men with superhuman strength and speed. She is left shaken, not understanding either her superhuman or psionic abilities. Nobleman demands that she accompany him or he will kill her parents. She agrees and is taken to the laboratory, where she is restrained.

Dr. Baek explains that she created Ja-yoon, genetically modifying her to have superpowers. Ja-yoon's headaches are a symptom of a disease that will kill her without proper treatment. She has her injected with a blue serum that will stop the disease for a month, leaving Ja-yoon dependent on new doses. After the injection, Ja-yoon's demeanor changes and she reveals the truth - she never lost her memory and has always known what she is. After visiting a doctor by herself, and being told that without a bone marrow transplant by a blood relative, she only has a few months left to live, she decided to track down Dr. Baek for the cure. Not knowing how to find her, she purposefully revealed her abilities during the audition to draw the attention of her creators.

With the serum restoring her to full strength, Ja-yoon escapes her bonds and kills her guards. Holding Dr. Baek at gunpoint she demands to know where the serum is produced. It is around this time that Mr. Choi comes, having heard about Ja-yoon, but she kills him with ease. She defeats Nobleman but Dr. Baek is killed during the chaos. Ja-yoon burns the building down and visits her parents, providing her father with some of the serum to give her mother to help slow the spread of her dementia. Her father alludes to always having known what Ja-yoon could do.

Three months later, Ja-yoon appears in the home of Dr. Baek's twin sister. She gives her more vials of the serum. A mysterious young woman, whose face is covered in scars, approaches Ja-yoon but Ja-yoon threatens to kill her if she touches her and the screen goes to black.



Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 18 reviews, with an average rating of 8.7/10.[14]

Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter gave a positive review and wrote, "An ever-so-delicate twist on the Korean revenge thriller. By Korean action standards The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion is lean at two hours, but in cramming so much into the narrative it stumbles over itself on more than one occasion; it very often forgets its own internal logic and drags the final showdown out to the breaking point."[15]

Rafael Motamayor of Flickering Myth rated the film 4/5 and wrote, "Despite trying to cram too much plot, the film's atmospheric score, action sequences and visuals keep you invested in the story and what comes next."[16]

Box officeEdit

The film opened in South Korea on June 27, 2018. During its debut weekend, the film finished in first place, ending The Accidental Detective: In Action 2-week box office reign. It sold more than 735,000 tickets from 1,117 screens from Friday to Sunday, with US$6 million gross during its opening weekend.[17] In its second weekend, the film finished at second behind Ant-Man and the Wasp, dropping 40% from the last weekend with US$3.5 million gross from 451,113 tickets sold.[18] Grossing US$3.1 million on its third weekend, the film finished third behind Ant-Man and the Wasp and newcomer Skyscraper.[19] As of August 23, the film attracted 3,189,092 moviegoers, and earned US$24,377,666.[1]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Awards Category Recipient Result Ref.
22nd Fantasia International Film Festival Best Actress Kim Da-mi Won [20]
27th Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Jo Min-su Nominated [21][22]
Best New Actress Kim Da-mi Won
55th Grand Bell Awards Won [23]
Best Actress Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Go Min-si Nominated
Technical Award The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion Nominated
3rd London Asian Film Festival Rising Star Award Kim Da-mi Won [24]
2nd The Seoul Awards Best New Actress Kim Da-mi Won [25]
39th Blue Dragon Film Awards Won [26]
Technical Award (Stunts) Park Jeong-ryool & Kim Jeong-min (Stunts) Nominated
18th Director's Cut Awards Best New Actress Kim Da-mi Won [27]
10th KOFRA Film Awards Won [28]
55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress Nominated [29]
Best Supporting Actress Jo Min-su Nominated
24th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actress Kim Da-mi Nominated [30]
Best Supporting Actress Jo Min-su Nominated
2nd China Korea International Film Festival Won [31]
Popularity Award Won
39th Fantasporto Film Festival Best Film Orient Express The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion Won [32][33]
26th Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival Syfy Jury Prize Won [34]


  1. ^ a b "The Witch : Part 1. The Subversion (2018)". Korean Film Biz Zone.
  2. ^ ‘The Witch’ ends the reign of ‘Accidental Detective'
  3. ^ The Witch: The Subversion (2018)
  4. ^ "Fantasia Festival | The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion". Fantasia Festival | The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion.
  5. ^ "Fantasia 2018 Review: THE WITCH: PART 1. THE SUBVERSION, Kickass Korean Science Fiction Action". ScreenAnarchy. 24 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Korea Box Office: 'Witch' Beats 'Accidental Detective'". 2 July 2018.
  7. ^ "PARK Hoon-jung's Upcoming WITCH Cranks Up". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "THE WITCH Receives Overseas Praise ahead of Domestic Launch". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 27, 2018.
  9. ^ Yon Min-sik (20 June 2018). "[Herald Review] 'The Witch' an interesting attempt, but clunky delivery". Korean Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  10. ^ Heo, Min-nyeong (March 25, 2022). "[단독]김다미-이종석 '마녀2' 6월에 온다 상반기 최고 화제작 예약" [[Exclusive] Kim Da-mi and Lee Jong-suk's 'Witch 2' to come in June Book the most popular work in the first half of the year]. Newsen (in Korean). Retrieved March 25, 2022 – via Naver.
  11. ^ "영화 "박훈정 감독, 반전 결말의 미스터리작품! 김다미·최우식·조민수 주연" - 한국강사신문". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  12. ^ a b "영화 "김다미·최우식·조민수·박희순 주연, 미스터리한 전개와 독특한 결말의 액션작품" - 한국강사신문". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  13. ^ "Choi Woo-shik is ready to show his dark side : The popular 'Okja' truck driver plays a villain in 'The Witch: Part 1'". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (Manyeo) (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  15. ^ "'The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion' ('Manyeo'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. August 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "Fantasia Film Festival 2018 Review – The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion". Flickering Myth. August 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "'The Witch' ends the reign of 'Accidental Detective'". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "'Ant-man' sequel dominates theaters worldwide". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 24, 2018.
  19. ^ "'Ant-Man' continues its dominance at the multiplex". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "THE WITCH and MICROHABITAT Awarded at Fantasia". Korean Film Biz Zone. August 7, 2018.
  21. ^ [23회 부산국제영화제] 부일영화상. Busan Daily (in Korean). 20 September 2018.
  22. ^ 5관왕 ‘공작’, ‘허스토리’와 함께 부산 품었다(종합) [27회 부일영화상]. MK Sports (in Korean). 5 October 2018.
  23. ^ 제55회 대종상, 각 부문 후보 공개…'공작' 12개 최다부문 노미네이트. Seoul Sports (in Korean). 21 September 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  24. ^ "KIM Da-mi Picks Up Rising Star Award at LEAFF". Korean Film Biz Zone. 14 November 2018.
  25. ^ ‘제2회 더 서울어워즈’ 10월27일 개최, 드라마-영화 각 부문별 후보공개. iMBC (in Korean). September 28, 2018.
  26. ^ 청룡영화상 후보 발표, ‘1987’ 최다·‘공작’도 9개부문 후보. Newsen (in Korean). November 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "EXO's D.O., Kim Tae Ri, and more win awards at the '18th Director's Cut Awards!". Allkpop. 14 December 2018.
  28. ^ "'올해의 영화상' 이성민X한지민, 남녀주연상..작품상 '공작'[종합]". Osen (in Korean). 30 January 2019.
  29. ^ Cho, Yeon-gyeong (April 5, 2019). 55회 백상예술대상 영화부문 최종 후보 공개. Is Plus (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  30. ^ Cho, Yeon-gyeong (July 9, 2019). "Chunsa Film Art Awards 2019 Nominees". HanCinema. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  31. ^ "Jo Min-su won the'Korean Best Movie Actor Popularity Award' at the 2nd Korea-China Film Festival". Sports Chosun. 18 July 2020.
  32. ^ "AWARDS AND INFO 39TH FANTASPORTO 2019". Fantasporto. March 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Fantasporto Awards Ceremony". Youtube. March 5, 2019.
  34. ^ "Gérardmer 2019 : Puppet Master grand vainqueur, The Unthinkable, Aniara et The Witch primés". AlloCiné (in French). February 3, 2019.

External linksEdit