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:
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.
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.