Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Gwoemul
South Korea, 2006. Showbox Entertainment, Chungeorahm Film, Boston Investments, CJ E&M Film Financing & Investment Entertainment & Comics, CJ E&M Pictures, CJ Venture Investment, Cowell Investment Capital Co., Happinet, IMM Venture Capital, Knowledge & Creation Ventures, M-Venture Investment, OCN, Sego Entertainment, Seoul Broadcasting System, Tube Pictures. Screenplay by Joon-ho Bong, Won-jun Ha, Chul-hyun Baek. Cinematography by Hyung-ku Kim. Produced by Yong-bae Choi, Neung-yeon Joh. Music by Byung-woo Lee. Production Design by Seong-hie Ryu. Costume Design by Sang-gyeong Jo. Film Editing by Sun-min Kim. Toronto International Film Festival 2006.
Gang-du and his daughter Hyun-seo watch his sister Nam-Joo compete in an archery tournament while the most curious thing is happening outside: a giant lizard has emerged from Seoul’s Han River and has begun attacking and eating everyone in its path. Everyone in the neighbourhood begins running for the hills, a disastrous bit of mayhem that results in Hyun-seo’s being taken by the monster while her surviving family (which also includes her uncle and grandfather) are taken to the hospital to be treated for a virus that the animal is apparently spreading. When Gang-du gets a phone call from his daughter informing him that she’s still alive, he must break government quarantine and head for the sewer system where the villainous creature keeps some of its victims alive for later ingestion. This incredibly fun science-fiction film is a wonderful blend of touching family poignancy, light comedy and monster movie madness. It’s just the right length and pace and offers something for anyone who chooses to watch it, plus the performances are all terrific.