One of the biggest fears of our generation is losing our smartphones, followed by social media hacking. While fitting the entire world into a small device sounds convenient, it is also quite dangerous. Some are paranoid enough to shift to the good old non-smartphones, but most take the chance. The new Korean mystery thriller “Unlocked” is a look into all that can go wrong if you lose your smartphone.
Nami is mostly glued to her phone, be it to update her life on social media, to play games, or to use an alternate account for business purposes. Nami’s life was normal until she accidentally left her phone on the bus after a night of drinking. Nami’s friend found her passed out on the adjoining terrace the next morning. Eun-joo had called Nami in the morning, and the call was received by a stranger (a woman) who wanted to contact the owner of the phone to return it to them. When Nami woke up from her sleep, she realized that her phone was missing. She was thankful to the stranger who had picked up her phone and was kind enough to want to return it. Unbeknownst to Nami, the woman she was speaking to was a man using a recorded voice, and she had fallen into his trap by trusting him.
‘Unlocked’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The man who took home Nami’s phone tried to unlock it using clues from her social media. When that did not work, he broke the phone screen and asked Nami to collect her phone from a repair store. The repair store was in a secluded building, and while it did seem strange to Nami, she trusted the stranger. The building was creepy enough, and the fact that there was only one person working behind the desk made it all the more concerning. But somehow, Nami did not think much about it. She was too happy to see her phone lying on the desk and did not mind sharing her password to change the screen. Nami’s one single silly move helped the stranger gain access to her phone. By using spyware, he created a replica of Nami’s phone, and he could monitor her every activity with ease. He had hacked into her cameras, using which he could constantly check her surroundings. Nami’s life was an open book to him, and he noted every detail that he could use to fulfill his objective.
The police discovered a woman’s mutilated body deep inside a mountain forest. The fingers were chopped off, and there were no traces left by the murderer. All they could retrieve from the scene were vials of plant food. Ji-man was intrigued when he noticed the plant food, and he tried to confirm his suspicion. The moment he saw the plum tree, he realized that the murderer could be someone close to home. When his son was ten, he planted a plum tree for him at the exact same spot, and even now, his son’s name remains attached to the tree. Ji-man had not been in contact with his son, Jun-yeong, for seven years now. His son was not clever, and he did not expect him to turn into a murderer. Ji-man doubted that maybe his friends had influenced him or learned about the location from him. Whatever the case, Ji-man had to find his son. He went through his wife’s phone and realized that Jun-yeong had shifted several lives in the last few months. His partner was able to track his location, and Ji-man reached his apartment.
The psychotic stranger kept a close watch on Nami. He knew every little detail of her life, from her lock code to the exact location of her house and the people she was close with. He now knew her best-kept secrets; for example, he witnessed the entire conversation between Nami and her boss, where her boss asked her to keep her pay raise a secret from her colleagues. The stranger wanted Nami to cut ties with her father, Eun-joo, and boss—the three most important people in Nami’s life.
Who Was The Stranger Nami Met At The Cafe? What Did Ji-Man Find In The Apartment?
Nami helped her father at the cafe he owned whenever she was free. She cherished the plumade her father used to make specially for her. The psychotic stranger, who had been watching Nami all this while, walked into the cafe and ordered a glass of plumade. Nami was a little surprised since the item was not on their menu. He claimed to be an old customer at the cafe, and his love for plumade brought him back. Nami decided not to break his heart and served the drink without her father’s consent. While bringing him the drink, she noticed that he was playing the video game she was addicted to. In the few minutes that she met the stranger, she learned that they had similar tastes. Nami’s father was not pleased with the stranger’s sudden interest when he visited the cafe twice in a row. He knew that the young guy had never visited the cafe before, yet he chose to lie about it, and that struck him as odd. The stalker was now desperate to deal with Nami’s father, knowing that he doubted him. He came up with a plan when he overheard a conversation between Nami and her father. He assumed that the guy was probably a stalker and advised Nami not to trust him. Nami was not ready to take advice from her father, especially for a harmless interaction. That night, when her father returned home, he received a text message from Nami asking him to open a link. Her father was hesitant, but she reassured him that it would help him keep track of her. What he did not know was that the texts were being sent by the stalker, aka Oh Jun-yeong. He opened the link and received a picture of a parcel kept in his doorway. When he went to receive it, Jun-yeong attacked him from behind and tied him up. Helpless, he was now forced to watch his daughter fall into Jun-yeong’s trap.
Ji-man’s associate, Kim Jeong-oh, tracked the phone number Jun-yeong used to contact his mother. After reaching the apartment, Ji-man came across several mobile phones, the nail polish of the victim who was found in the forest, the business cards of Oh Jun-yeong, and most importantly, the notes he wrote about each of his victims. While he video recorded every piece of evidence, he received a message from his son—a picture of Ji-man taken from the apartment window. He rushed to find his son, and with every message he received, he was triggered all the more. Eventually, he realized that his son had fooled him to get him out of the apartment. When he returned to the apartment, all the evidence had been destroyed by Jun-yeong. He contacted the victim’s mother, who provided him with crucial information. He discovered that Mi-gyeong first contacted Jun-yeong after she lost her phone and left it at a repair shop to have the screen repaired. Ji-Man knew Jun-yeong owned a repair shop, and now everything was coming together.
‘Unlocked’ Ending Explained: Why Did The Stalker Target Nami? Is He Dead?
Nami’s professional life was completely destroyed when Jun-yeong posted a picture of her with her team, and in the caption, he expressed (as Nami) how she hated working there and wanted to quit her job. Nami woke up to several phone calls and messages. She rushed to her office to explain how she was hacked, but nobody was ready to believe it. In the post, her boss was heavily criticized, and the products were insulted. People wanted to return the products, and their recent deals were all canceled. Jun-yeong’s single post destroyed not only Nami’s life but also the lives of everyone who worked at the company. He had successfully cut ties with Nami’s father and now with her boss as well. He expected Nami to blame Eun-joo for the post, but instead, she reached out to her for comfort. They tried to report the incident at the cyber security cell, but it was not as easy as they thought it would be. Since they knew that Jun-yeong worked at a security company, they contacted him to find out the truth. He informed Nami that someone had installed spyware on her phone that gave them complete access. He later insinuated that Eun-joo could be the one behind it because she stayed with Nami the night that the picture was posted. Nami questioned Eun-joo about her involvement. Eun-joo was completely broken when she realized that her best friend did not trust her, and she left Nami alone at the cafe.
Seven more bodies were found on a mountain in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do. Ji-man and Jeong-oh decided to find the repair shop and confront Jun-yeong. The entire store was completely ransacked, with mobile repair bills lying around. The eight bills that they found belonged to the victims, but Ji-man knew that a ninth bill must also be there. When he searched Jun-yeong’s apartment, he came across a ninth name in his notebook. Jeong-oh believed that it was high time for them to involve the press to find Jun-yeong, but Ji-man wanted to be the first to find him. In the meantime, while crying over losing her best friend, Nami realized that the guy at the repair store had gotten access to her phone as well. She went to the store with the police and met Ji-man and Jeong-oh there. She came across the license certificate and realized that Jun-yeong, the stranger she met at the cafe, was the one running the repair store. She contacted his place of work, and they confirmed that they did not have an employee by that name. She was determined to destroy him and demanded to know about Ji-man’s secret investigation. She assumed that the stalker must be involved in selling explicit videos from the phones he hacked. She proposed to help them find him by asking Jun-yeong to come to her place. Ji-man chose to keep the truth from her. He believed in her plan, and that was the only way to get hold of his son. He did not wish to destroy her confidence by exposing Jun-yeong’s truth.
Jun-yeong agreed to meet her, and Ji-man and Jeong-oh positioned themselves to apprehend him. When he arrived, they closed in on him, but he stated that he was not Jun-yeong. Ji-man realized that the man was not his son and regretted pointing the gun at the stranger. Even though he was not Jun-yeong, there was something about him that Jeong-oh thought was strange. The stalker now knew that Nami had betrayed him by contacting the police, and he was ready to end her like his other victims. The stalker’s identity was yet to be revealed, even though all evidence pointed at Jun-yeong.
Ji-man and Jeong-oh decided to drop Nami at her safe place, that is, her father’s house. When Nami entered the house, she decided not to disturb her father while he was sleeping. She went to her room and used the other phone that she thought the stalker had no access to. But she was shocked when he texted her. She did not know that the stalker had hacked the phone when she was not at home. She went to her father’s room and realized that a stack of pillows had been arranged to fool her. She could hear the stalker in the house, and she was ready to fight him. She demanded to meet her father, and he allowed her to see him lying in the bathtub, helpless and unconscious. Nami was ready to do anything to help her father. The stalker asked her to kill her father and dropped her into the bathtub with him. He took a picture of Nami drowning in the water and felt a sense of accomplishment. What he did not know was that the police had asked her to call and not text if she was all right, but instead, the stalker asked her to text to inform them that she was fine. By the time he realized it, it was too late.
Ji-man and Jeong-oh caught him and handcuffed him. Ji-man knew that he was not his son, and the stranger explained that Jun-yeong was his first victim and the entire purpose of killing him was to steal his identity and fool the police. All this time, Ji-man believed that his son was the perpetrator, but instead, he was the first victim. As a father, he was ashamed that he could not protect his child. While Jeong-oh performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Nami’s father, Nami gathered all her strength, walked to the perpetrator with a gun in her hand, and shot him. She could not watch the man who killed her father breath for another minute. After the gunshot, Nami could hear her father breathe, and tears of joy rolled down her cheeks. The perpetrator did not feel an ounce of shame for murdering people mercilessly. And there was no particular reason why he decided to ruin Nami’s life. He spotted her phone on the bus and decided to use it to his advantage. His rule was that if anyone tried contacting his victim in the last few minutes, he would let them go because even after all the chaos, they chose the victim, but if none responded, he felt he had the authority to murder them.
At the end of “Unlocked,” we learn that Ji-man took the blame for shooting the perpetrator. The perpetrator was unconscious but alive. The identity of the perpetrator remained unknown since he was not registered after his birth. Therefore, the police had to wait for him to regain his senses. The fact that he remained unregistered all his life hints at the problem of undocumented migrant children in South Korea. He is one of the many ghost children in South Korea who are stateless. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the perpetrator’s life as a child was difficult, and he later used his lack of identity proof to his advantage. People following the news closely found out Nami’s location. They tracked down the coffee shop and updated its location in a group chat. While they seemed to be her secret cheerleaders, they were intrusive enough to take a picture of her without her consent. Another example of how obsessive people often become and how that blurs the line between fandom and stalking.