Unlocked (2023) review: Dragged out but gets better as it progresses

In Unlocked, a murderous individual stumbles across an innocent woman’s smartphone and uses it to threaten her relationships and life. The Korean thriller film is now streaming on Netflix.


Lee na-mi (Woo-hee Chun) has no idea that leaving her phone on a bus after a night out is about to change her life for the worse.

Unfortunately, the person who stumbles upon it is Woo jun-yeong (Si-wan Yin), a serial killer who has a history of using people’s smartphones to eventually end their lives.

Meanwhile, his former victims are found by Woo Ji-man, Woo jun-yeong’s father, who realises that his son is the killer when he finds a plum tree near the body which was planted by him when he was younger.

Jun-yeong cleverly gains access to her phone and starts using it to eliminate the important people in her life. It’s all a game for this psychopath.

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Jun-yeong had run away from home and Ji-man still blames himself for how his son turned out and wants to be the one to put a stop to him.


Si-wan Yin is stunning as a serial killer who lacks any emotions. He is genuinely terrifying at times and will give nightmares to many.

Woo jun-yeong is also solid, although not to the same extent as Si-wan Yin. Her character also lacks depth, restricting her.


The twists and turns that Unlocked throws at you are extremely unpredictable. It’s also not afraid to be as bizarre and terrifying as possible.

While it’s questionable where the narrative is headed at the start, it picks up pace eventually and displays a riveting finale.

The final twist changes everything completely and all that you, as viewers, and even the characters believed isn’t the reality.

The primary antagonist of the film is quite interesting. His psychopathic mind and actions keep you on the edge of your seat as nothing is too far for him.


The film drags at several points and struggles to hold your attention. Especially the first half moves at a snail’s pace.

Unlocked claims to explore how people in the modern world are disconnected while being more connected than ever through smartphones.

But this attempt is half-baked and only thrown in at a few points. It’s just a satisfactory thriller, not a well-written social commentary.


Unlocked is a decent thriller that isn’t hard to watch but doesn’t manage to stand out amongst the vast library of the genre on Netflix.

Unlocked (2023) review: Dragged out but gets better as it progresses 1

Director: Tae-joon Kim

Date Created: 2023-02-17 19:13

Editor's Rating:

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