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Korean film industry revs up for summer season

Mystery, thriller, zombie flicks scheduled for release in June

“Intruder” poster (BA Entertainment)
“Intruder” poster (BA Entertainment)

South Korean film industry is eyeing a return to normalcy as films whose releases were delayed due to the COVID -19 pandemic are confirming early June opening dates, in time for the start of the summer season.

The distributor of thriller “Intruder,” a film starring Song Ji-hyo and Kim Mu-yeol, on Friday announced the film will open in the local theaters on June 4, after a number of postponements.

Originally slated to open in March, a new release date of May 21 was announced following the government’s eased social distancing measures earlier this month, only to be delayed again by the outbreak of cluster infections connected to clubs in Itaewon, Seoul.

Kim plays Seo-jin whose family faces strange changes after his sister Yu-jin, played by Song, returns 25 years after she went missing.

A scene from “Innocence” (Kidari ENT)
A scene from “Innocence” (Kidari ENT)

Mystery drama “Innocence,” featuring actresses Shin Hye-sun and Bae Jong-ok in the lead, whose opening has been repeatedly pushed back since February recently confirmed the final release date of June 11. The film tells the story of Jung-in, an attorney who struggles to prove the innocence of her mother, who is suspected of murder and has lost her memory.

On Thursday, a preview event was held for veteran actor-turned-director Jung Jin-young’s directorial debut film “Me on Me” with the lead actor Cho Jin-woong. The mystery flick, set for June 18 release, revolves around a detective who discovers everything he remembers about himself has disappeared as he chases after a strange fire case.

“#Alive” poster (Lotte Entertainment)
“#Alive” poster (Lotte Entertainment)

Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye’s story of survival in zombie apocalypse, “#Alive,” will also open in late June. Based on the 2019 US horror movie “Alone,” the writer of the original movie Matt Naylor teamed up with director Choi Il-hyung to adapt the story for the Korean audience.

The announcements of film openings come about a week after the Korean Film Council announced a set of new measures to ensure safety from virus infection inside cinemas. On May 13, the state-run organization said it would be safe for the public to attend screenings as long as the audience strictly follow the social distancing rules -- such as wearing masks at all times and not eating food inside the theaters -- and the cinema operators prepare systems to prevent mass infection.

One of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, local cinemas have turned to low-budget films and re-screenings of past popular titles. No new commercial movies or high-budget Korean titles have been released since late February.

By Choi Ji-won (
Korea Herald Youtube