Delusion is something different from what I normally read. The thriller is exciting; keeping you nailed to your seat & biting your nails. Do you dare make Madam Song wait?
|Alt Titles||Hyeonhok, 眩惑, 현혹|
|Creators||Hongjacga [홍작가, Hong Jagga, Hong Jak Ga, Хон Чжак Ка]|
|Release||2019 (Korea) – 2021 (English)|
|Genre||Historical, Horror, Mature Warning, Murder, Gore, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller|
It’s 1935 in Gyeongseong, and struggling artist Iho Yun has been commissioned by the reclusive, elderly Madam Jeonghwa Song to paint a portrait.
Madam Jeonghwa Song allows Iho to set eyes upon her — an unprecedented event — and standing before him is a young woman. But why does she ask him to paint an elderly version of her? “Don’t finish the portrait.” Tucked between the previous artist’s paint tubes is an ominous letter.
Iho learns that no artist has left Madam Song’s abode alive or of sound mind. Just what is she hiding and what will happen if Iho finishes the portrait?
As I’m reading Delusion, I realised I was instantly getting hooked. The story is fast-paced, without missing important details.
Some stories try to keep the momentum going, making the reader feel the rush. Not this one, it manages to maintain a perfect balance.
Delusion manages to keep the story going, while allowing the story to fester in our minds. We’re receiving hints throughout the story, making our brain go into overdrive as we try to discern what they mean.
Most of the story focus on Iho Yun, our painter. However, we’re also privy to some information following the butler (?) of Madam Song and his interaction with a cook. It explains why there’s no people around and furthermore, it adds a layer mystery to the already mysterious story.
What also adds interest to the story is the world and time it’s set in. We’re not in modern day South Korea, but instead in 1935 during the Japanese occupation of the country. For us who aren’t too well-versed in history surrounding Asian countries, this adds even more build-up. We’re not fully sure what we can expect, since we lack the knowledge of what’s normal in those times.
Madam Song is also interesting in her interaction with Iho. For the most part, we’re not sure if we can trust her. As we’re trying to have an open mind, we get information contradicting our opinion. Something is definitely not right in this mansion.
As a mysterious person said to Iho, you better have your head screwed on tight in order to survive this! It seems our character Iho is also above average in intelligence. He’s trying his best to make sense of the situation without freaking out.
Not being allowed to leave, as well as finding notes from a previous painter, doesn’t make him comfortable to stay in the mansion. Yet what is he suppose to do? All he can really do is buy time to figure out what the heck is going on.
I can’t finish my recommendation without mentioning the art. Overall I feel like the artist went above and beyond with making this one. The portraits are utterly gorgeous and lifelike. It’s scary how much talent this artist has!
Recommendation: If you like thrillers and hints of supernatural, you may love this one!