The arrival of a mysterious stranger in a quiet rural village causes suspicion amongst the villagers- but as they begin killing each other for no apparent reason, that suspicion turns to panic. When the daughter of the investigating officer falls under the same savage spell, he calls in a shaman to assist in finding the culprit.
Homicide detective Jung Jae-gon is chasing after a suspect of a murder case. He knew his suspect would get in touch with his lover Kim Hye-kyung, who is a madam at a third-rate bar. Jung goes undercover as the suspect’s former cellmate and becomes the floor manager at the bar where Kim works, and watches her every move. But as Jung spends more time with her, he feels strange sense of guilt and his resolve to catch the suspect is shaken. Having dedicated his life to police work, Jung doesn’t understand the feeling he feels towards Kim. On the other hand, Kim waits tirelessly for her lover to come back to her, but she begins to open up to Jung, who is always by her side. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
The region where the borders of North Korea, China, and Russia come together, forms a sort of modern day wild west, where more than half of the population relies on illegal activity in order to survive. In Yanbian, on the Chinese side of the border, Gu-nam (Ha Jung-woo) wiles away his days driving a cab, and spends his nights getting drunk and gambling, and losing horribly. In fact he’s so bad at mahjong that he has built up a sizeable debt to some small-scale hoods. His wife went to Seoul to work and send back money, but it’s been months since he has heard from her, and he’s tortured by visions of her wild, passionate, imagined affairs. So he’s broke and crazy and unraveling at the seams. When local crime lord Myun (Kim Yun-seok) offers to erase Gu-nam’s debt in exchange for a contract killing in Seoul, Gu-nam, at the end of his rope, reluctantly accepts.
Hyeong-Do (So Ji-Sub) is an assassin for a company that masquerades as a metal trading company. One day, he takes on a job partnering with a man Hyun-Yi, who is he is to kill afterwards. Hyun-Yi asks a favor to Hyeong-Do which is to give money to his family. Hyeong-Do visits Hyun-Yi’s home where he meets Hyun-Yi’s wife Su-Yeon (Lee Mi-Yeon). Su-Yeon is a former singer whom Hyeong-Do admired in the past. Guilt, an unknown feeling up to this point for Hyeong-Do, begins take over Hyeong-Do.