YMMV: Oldboy

  • Adaptation Displacement: The manga has been all but dwarfed by the film.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The first movement of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons: Winter" certainly takes the cake, but the entire soundtrack of this movie is a work of genius. Every track is named after a famous movie classic (most of them film noir) yet every title also clearly applies to the events seen in the film when the track is played. Every major character has a theme that is played overtly in several scenes, rather than recurring only as background music. Lee Woo-Jin's theme is lovingly used throughout the film; it is also heard as the jingle marking the release of the gas in Dae-Su's prison and it is the ringtone on the phone given to him by Woo-Jin. The pieces themselves are so appropriate and original that even hearing a few seconds of any part of the soundtrack will instantly conjure up the atmosphere of the movie.
  • Cry for the Devil: Not minutes after Woo-jin destroys Dae-su's life, the film cuts to a flashback of Woo-jin unsuccessfully trying to prevent Soo-ah's suicide, which occurred because of Dae-su's carelessness. To finally rub it in, present-day Woo-jin promptly kills himself.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: According to the director, it's either a happy ending that's sad or a sad ending that's happy. Either way, the implication is that the protagonist continues to carry on an incestuous relationship with his own unwitting daughter, and that he may or may not know himself.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Lee Woo-jin. Sure, he is an evil man bent on revenge against Dae-su. But he gets sympathetic by the end of the movie when he watches his sister die.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Arguably this for Woo-jin. He gets the revenge he sought for so long, only to realize that it won't bring his sister back and his life now has no purpose. Que him killing himself.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Much of the movie, particularly...well...see above under Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Paranoia Fuel/Fridge Horror: The man was locked up for 15 years, and tricked into sleeping with his daughter. All because he mentioned something he had seen, once.
  • Squick: Played first for laughs (like the octopus scene), but getting steadily darker as the film goes on. Especially the ending.
  • Tear Jerker: Several scenes, but especially the unbearable finale when Dae-su screams and grovels before Woo-Jin, begging him not to tell Mi-do that Dae-su is her father.
    • "The Last Waltz", which plays during Mi-do's fantasy of the ant on the train and during the end credits, is a Tear Jerker all of itself, when the movie is over.
  • The Woobie: Oh Dae-Su. The dude gets locked up alone in a hotel room for fifteen years straight without being told why, and then finds out that he's been manipulated into banging his own daughter.