The worldwide success of Train to Busan was unexpected but it was also a wonderful surprise thanks to its brilliant production. What if I say that there are many more great movies in the Korean film industry?
The one thing we are reminded of this year is that a movie doesn’t have to come from Hollywood for it to be good, so here’s our 2016 movie picks from South Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm.
The World of Us
It’s not often the big screen gives way to child actors to lead the storyline of a movie but The World of Us took that chance with this inspiring and realistic story about a 10-year old outcast, Sun finding hope in her newfound friend, Jia, during summer. When troubles seem to be clearing up, the bullying continues after the break. Jia slowly turns her back on Sun to join the cool kids that have been bullying her at school. This is a story of how friendship can hurt and heal when you least expect it.
CEO Seung Joo and detective Jung Tae have been friends for half their lives so when both of them lose their precious cell phone and a gun to the same four rebellious high school students, they need to work together to retrieve them without getting their butts kicked. A high-paced chase is set in motion and we get an action comedy about two middle-aged guys chasing a bunch of delinquent high-schoolers.
Unforgettable (Pure Love)
Unforgettable is a story of first love lost in time and reappearing 23 years later through a letter addressed to a radio DJ, Soo-Ok. Years ago, five friends spent the summer together and not knowingly Beom Sil and Soo-Ok fell in love. However, feelings were concealed and the memories were buried as life went on until Soo-Ok received a letter from Beom Sil and all the forgotten feelings relentlessly resurfaced.
When an old Japanese man joins the small community of the peaceful Goksung village, everybody is suspicious of his reserved manner. The town is thrown into panic following a number of mysterious and violent deaths causing fingers to be pointed at the outcast. Officer Jung Goo is in charge of the case but when his own daughter starts to show similar symptoms as the other victims, he is forced to work with a shaman to save her whilst investigating the old man. The Wailing made it into the list of top grossing Korean movies this year and this horror thriller received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Let’s leave it at that.