Summary of the Korean Movie "Moss"

by Valerie Valdez

"Moss" is a 2010 murder mystery film set in a South Korean mountain village.

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Based on Yun Tae-ho's Internet comic, "Moss" is a 2010 Hitchcock-type thriller that builds suspense around a mysterious village hiding secrets. Set in the South Korean mountainside, the film blends a father-son tale with a struggle between good and evil. As the son edges closer to the truth about his father's death, "Moss" unravels a story of greed and murder that spans 30 years.

"Moss" Storyline

Hae-duk goes to his father's funeral at the urging of an unknown caller. He meets the people in the village where his father, Mok-hyung, preached, including powerful Yong-deok and his wife, Young-Ji. Hae-duk stays against the peoples' wishes, and enlists the help of a prosecutor to investigate Mok-hyung's death. Hae-duk soon discovers Yong-deok forced villagers to sign over their land to him, which he resold at higher prices. His thugs murdered any villager who refused. As the police close in, Yong-deok burns all evidence of his crimes before he dies. Hae-duk shockingly discovers Young-Ji poisoned his father, then called him to investigate the death. She wanted Hae-duk to expose Yong-deok's scheme and kill him so she could rule the village.


Seen in flashbacks, Mok-hyung returns from Vietnam to atone for his wartime sins by opening a temple. His friend, Yong-deok, helps him start a village for his followers. When Mok-hyung discovers the land theft, Yong-deok kills some of the temple's patrons as a warning. Mok-hyung stays quiet about the village for years until he has a change of conscience, and dies trying to tell the police.


Although separated from his father for years, Hae-duk goes to the funeral out of a sense of family duty. He probes the villagers for information about the mysterious death, but they stonewall him. Still, he convinces a skeptical prosecutor to help investigate Yong-deok and the suspicious town. They find Yong-deok's acts of greed and murder reach high into the government. After Yong-deok dies, Hae-duk returns home realizing his father was a man of principal who sacrificed himself to save the village.


A former police chief, Yong-deok took advantage of Mok-hyung's naïve nature to build an empire. He used bribery, threats and murder to reach his place as village dictator. Yong-deok even built his huge estate atop a mountain so he could watch over the village. When he realizes Hae-duk will not stop until he finds out the village's secret, Yong-deok's grows desperate and careless, drawing attention from the police. Soon, his powerful government associates refuse him aid, leaving Yong-deok alone to account for his crimes.

About the Author

Since 1998 Valerie Valdez's articles have appeared in the "Austin Business Journal," "Austin Women" and "Inside Austin." Valdez has enjoyed working in broadcasting for NBC, PBS stations and for the U.S. Army. She earned a Bachelor of Science in radio-TV from the University of Texas and a Master of Arts in theater from Texas State University.

Photo Credits

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