The Treacherous

The Treacherous (2015)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 280 users
Reviews: 2 users

Prince Yeon San becomes engulfed with insanity as he kills those responsible for his mother's death. He appoints his longtime friend Im Sung Jae and his father to the position of retainer. They are then ordered to round up beautiful women from all parts of the country to pleasure Prince Yeon San. Women are taken regardless of their marriage status or social class, which causes widespread anger.
Dan Hee is a beautiful read morewoman, but she is a butcher from the lowest class. She saves Im Sung Jae from danger and then begs him to take her to the palace. Im Sung Jae refuses for his own personal reasons.
Nevertheless, Dan Hee soon enters the palace. Im Sung Jae becomes conflicted and the Prince lusts after the beautiful Dan Hee.

  • Native title:

  • Also Known as:

    GanShin; Treacherous Subject; Treacherous Retainer;

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3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 26, 2016
  • Overall 7.5
  • Story 7.5
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Though explicit and by no means for the faint of heart, ‘The Treacherous’ is beautifully filmed and well-acted.

The fact that it is all based on gritty, hard fact adds a hefty weight to the already unsettling story. There’s a lot here that reflects upon corruption, in all its forms, ‘gifting’ the viewer with an insight into a darker time in history and the effects of a corrupted government. Despite the general read more breadth of its theme - that this insanity and moral degradation affects a whole kingdom - it still feels personal and real. No character is without its flaws, nor its scars, and at times I even found myself pitying the mad prince. There’s a lot of emotional intensity to see here, like everyone's just trying to survive.

It’s a well-paced film, as I never found myself bored. Though the acting wasn’t lacking however - especially not with Kim Kang Woo and Joo Ji Hoon! - I do think I could’ve been more emotionally-invested? Where the fault lies with that, I’m not certain, but that’s the main reason why I mark this film down: I didn’t FEEL enough as I believe I could’ve. That, and at times… clarity, I believe, wasn’t always there. Not regarding the major things, but more in the details of the characters and their histories. (A few things felt a bit skimped over and probably could’ve done with a tad more coverage, though overall the impact on the rest of the film isn’t a big deal at all.)

That aside, the costumes are brilliant. As are the sets. The music is above being ‘just good’ and I genuinely enjoyed these past two hours, with all my gasping and marvelling. It’s a dark yet interesting film that kept me watching to the end.
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4 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Dec 22, 2016
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Yes there are sex scenes and you know what? They're really well done--sometimes sensual, sometimes raunchy, other times like a work of art. It honestly adds to the experience of the movie. If you're bothered by sex then don't watch?

I've watched The Treacherous twice now and I loved it even more the second time. The cinematography is really great and the acting is really well done too. If you're into saeguk read more dramas, you'll love certain aspects of this like the inclusion of pansori by the narrator as well as some of the character, the traditional sword dancing, and of course the ever present court politics.

The King was the most interesting character, mostly because this is based off true history. My understanding and knowledge of Korean history is mainly from what I've watched in dramas (lol) so I'm not sure how much artistic license they took with the portrayal of this tryant king, but MAN was he out of his goddamn mind! It was insane! But that's what makes this movie so wild and enjoyable--there are almost no limits to the insanity...its raunchy and violent at times, but that's supposed to be the point. The film explores greed, power, lust, revenge all very dark and entrancing themes that really draw you in. The camera work really helps to add!

Honestly, the rating is probably so low because you have viewers who are used to watched sappy, romcom movies and dramas and this is definitely no where near that sort of story. If you're looking for something gritty, explicit, exciting, sexy, and just insane you will not regret watching!
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Both involve corrupt politicians, crazy royals, and concubines. The Treacherous is a lot more gritty, but both explore themes of revenge, lust, greed, desire, and power.
Recommended by Sakarya
Tha characters are playing with love and with sexual weaknesses of their opponents too
Recommended by loranar

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Comments (42)

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    QueenCherry 15 days ago - edited

    I COULD NOT FINISH THIS SHIT on Netflix it was that BAD ... NOT BAD Meaning BAD but BAD Meaning GOOD but it was too SICK yes SICK to my fucking stomach to the point I wish I had a GUN to Shoot every character I hated in the HEAD yes ALL HEAD SHOTS sick bitches. I am one that Love grotesque gory Movies. Blood dont scare me Not one bit Im in the medical field but it was too fucking twisted What a Fucking Disgraceful Human that KING and his Cronies were his Mother should have swallowed him. I give it 9 stars for Joo Ji Han what an amazing actor even as a sick twisted bitch

  • Reply
    joannesmith 23 days ago

    Not a movie I'd watch twice but worth watching once for the cinematography and choreography, let alone the acting. I personally watched it for the lead,Joo Ji Hoon, and was happy to see him in this work. Excellent. subtitles are fine.

  • Reply
    Emily Jun 23, 2017 - edited

    I really liked it! It displays what I find to be a typical Korean movie trait of having a lot of very shocking imagery or gore while also focusing less on character development. Most of the details need to be filled in by the viewer, while the storytelling focus is very much on the events and the events only, rather than character's feelings and reactions to things. It's a very stark contrast to dramas.
    That being said, this movie is a revenge plot. Revenge plots are always good. And there's that extra satisfying element of a forbidden romance?
    As the rating dictates, this is very much a mature audience only feature, but if you're up for it it's a decent way to spend two hours.

  • Reply
    Aly Feb 9, 2017

    This movie can be watched on

  • Reply
    souldoc70 Nov 26, 2016

    Great movie ,a real eye opener of what Korean filmmakers are capable of. Please don't watch this if you do not like sex and gory scenes. I find it beautifully made , the actors i.e. Joo Ji Hoon and the mad king Kim Kang Woo were excellent! I only wished I could have watched a better subbed version(I watched on dramacool and it was poorly subbed )

  • Reply
    Nik Nov 24, 2016

    Had to force myself to finish it :( seriously messed up and definitely not for the faint hearted

  • Reply
    Carolina Nov 13, 2016 - edited

    it' on Netflix now.

  • Reply
    Queen_Makjang Oct 11, 2016

    I thought it was awesome. Real, gritty. Not for the faint.

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    girl_on_fire Jul 17, 2016 - edited

    I have to say this movie isn't for everyone, but it does clearly show how bad things were during Prince Yeon San's reign in the Joseon era. It's a grueling story, about fighting for survival when political unrest surrounds you. The explicit scenes give more imagery to the chaos which the people of the palace had to deal with at every waking breath. I do recommend this to people who are willing to see a unapologetic, real korean history.

  • Reply

    barely got 1 minute into it and it was so disgusting I skipped and skipped and then saw another disgusting scene - So I said "what the heck, I'm not even going to try to watch this - so revolting."

  • Reply
    Mareina Feb 22, 2016

    Quite a disturbing yet fascinating peek into the world of a mad king. The sick part is that this is based on actual history.

  • Reply
    HAMEX Feb 14, 2016

    One word: Sick!

  • Reply
    ScarletStar Jan 19, 2016

    wow!~ very well written and well acted, I agree this deserves a better rating. Many people didn't like it because of explicit scenes but I believe it was necessary to give stronger point to the plot and flow of the story. But... this is not just for everybody, not just for any one. Open mindedness is very well needed, if not it'll be hard to appreciate this.

  • Reply
    KimAlutkus Jan 15, 2016 - edited

    You can find this movie with good subtitles on Gooddrama. But please, if you're a minor or/and you don't like watching movies filled with cruelty and sex, just skip this one. It's a very good movie, well written and played and it certainly deserves a better rating than 6.9.

    • Reply
      KimAlutkus Jan 20, 2016
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      Hana Jan 21, 2016
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      KimAlutkus Jan 22, 2016

      Glad that it helped! ^_^

    • Reply
      anastassia 24 days ago

      did he died or is he killed @kimAlutkus

    • Reply
      KimAlutkus 20 days ago
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Misunderst0_od Dec 21, 2015

    This was a seriously messed up movie. Wish I had saw the comments on this page before watching it.


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Release Date:

    May 21, 2015
  • Duration:

    2 hr. 13 min.


  • Score:

    7.1 (scored by 280 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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