Opening: THE TERROR, LIVE Starts Strong, Then Runs Out Of Steam

"In an era of oversaturation at the cineplex, with countless retreads and follow-ups dominating the marquees, sometimes a gimmick is just the trick to freshen things up. A clever and well-executed hook can seem fresh and original, but if poorly done, it can easily torpedo a film. In the case of new Korean action-thriller The Terror Live, a chamber piece that takes place entirely in a radio recording studio, the gimmick in the premise is both its saving grave and its downfall."

The words above are taken from my review after I saw it at PiFan a couple of weeks ago. Still playing in Korean cinemas, and doing very well, The Terror Live expands to North America on Friday, August 16. Here's a little more from my review:

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Radio show host Yoon Young-hwa receives a guest call while on air from a man claiming to have a bomb. When flippantly dismissed by the host, the caller blows up a bridge next door. Now Young-hwa, who was previously a primetime TV news anchor, sees a chance to get back on top. He calls his old producer, gets his new one fired and soon his radio room has been converted into a mini TV studio. The terrorist calls back and Young-hwa finds himself juggling his demands, the lives of hostages and his producer's drive for top ratings. ...

Quickly paced and with a solid turn from charismatic Korean superstar Ha Jung-woo, the film gets off to a good start, milking its claustrophobic premise by throwing in a few good surprises. Following the halfway point however, the gimmick starts to lose its appeal and steadily becomes a contrivance, bogging down the final reel with staged set pieces that are dictated by the film's narrative and geographical limitations.

You can read my entire review right here.

The film will open across the U.S. (Los Angeles; Fullerton, CA; Irvine, CA; New York; Atlanta, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Honolulu) and in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto). Visit the official site for more information.

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