K-Movie: Whatever You Do, Don't Drop Your Smartphone

by Michelle Li

Unlocked | 스마트폰을 떨어뜨렸을 뿐인데 (2023) 

Netflix | Unlocked

The literal translation of Unlocked means ‘I just dropped my smartphone’ which sets the movie up perfectly. The first main lead we are introduced to is Lee Nami (Chun Woo-Hee). I know I’m not the only one who relates to her in this digital generation. She represents a lot of us as she’s very much involved with social media and her phone in general. Every piece of information about her can be found on her phone. But after a night out, she drops and loses it on the bus and unknowingly, becomes a victim of Oh Jun-Yeong (Im Si-Wan).  

Netflix | Unlocked

The next morning, Lee Nami calls her phone number through her friend’s phone and as we expect, Jun-Yeong picks up but uses video phishing to alter his voice into a woman. After a few incidents, he tells Nami that he accidentally cracked her screen but has paid to get it fixed and tells her to pick it up at a specific shop. We all know that he cracked her screen on purpose to meet her in person. But at this point, Nami still has no idea that she’s talking to Jun-Yeong. 

Netflix | Unlocked

She enters the repair shop, and is asked to enter her phone password by the worker which she does without any hesitation. Away from her, it’s actually Jun-Yeong that is fixing her screen. But now that he knows Nami’s phone password, he has access to all her information stored on her phone. If that wasn’t enough, he also installs a spyware app which records her every move through her front camera and microphone 24/7. Nami continues her life unsuspiciously while Jun-Yeong is monitoring her every move. He literally writes down everything on paper from the time Nami’s alarm rings, her home to work bus route and even knowing her secret social media account that only she knows. It honestly gives me the chills not just because of Jun-Yeong’s actions but how just from your phone, it literally gave Jun-Yeong in-depth detail about Nami’s life 😬

Netflix | Unlocked

After finding out that Nami works at a part-time cafe where she works with her dad, he takes a visit. She shows interest towards Ju-yeong as they seemingly share a lot of common interests. Little does she know, Jun-Yeong’s spying has made him know everything about her. Though Nami’s dad raises suspicion on him, Nami ignores him and tries to get closer to Ju-yeong. But Jun-Yeong's intent may be to get close to her but to him this also means cutting her dad, friends, and colleagues out of her life. It’s interesting how the movie escalates quite quickly from here as Jun-Yeong’s plan to infiltrate Nami’s life comes to fruition. But also in reality, it’s that fast and simple for anyone to follow through with Jun-Yeong’s plan when they know everything about you. As I was watching, I was in awe and became a bit scared to think that Jun-Yeong’s ability to isolate Nami was all done from accessing her phone 🤯

Netflix | Unlocked

In the meantime, Detective Woo Ji-Man (Kim Hee-Won) is struggling to solve a murder case. But after finding a body on a remote mountain, he discovers that the murderer may be his runaway son who just so happens to be Jun-Yeong. Ji-Man soon finds seven more bodies that seem to be also murdered by Jun-Yeong too. The biggest clue being that he keeps their phones and pages and pages of notes on their personal lives. As Nami later finds out that Jun-Yeong was behind the framing, she teams up with Ji-man to discover the truth.

The movie quickly becomes more intense and thrilling from here as it leads up to the ending. We also learn a lot more about Jun-Yeong which adds a psychological twist near the finish. Definitely not what I expected one bit! Give it a watch yourself and see if you can guess the ending here or watch the trailer here for a hint 🔎

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