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Killer Toon (2013)
Opened: 07/12/2013 Limited
|CGV Cinemas||07/12/2013 - 07/18/2013||7 days|
|CGV Cinemas||08/02/2013 - 08/08/2013||7 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Genre: Korean Horror/Thriller (Korean w/English subtitles)
Webcomic predicts future murders!
A series of murders resembling Ji-yoon's horror webcomic drawings occur and detective Ki-chul unravels the terrifying truth of the comics himself.
A webcomic editor-in-chief is found dead. Every piece of evidence suggests that the death was a suicide, but primary detective, Ki-Chul, instinctually believes that this is a case of murder. During his investigation, he comes across a webcomic that uncannily resembles the murder, even down to the exact position of the body. He begins to suspect Ji-Yoon, the creator of the popular horror webcomic. Consequently, Ji-Yoon gets directly involved in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Ji-yoon, who has been suffering from horrific and realistic hallucinations, adamantly claims that she is not the killer. But when a second victim is killed exactly as drawn in her comic, she becomes the primary suspect. Now she has no choice but to reveal her fatal secret to save herself and her reputation...
I began this project as if I went back to making my debut. I wanted to create a film that everyone would be curious about, a fun film that you're scared of but still want to continue watching. Our film tells the story of secrets that we all have inside of us. How horrifying would it feel if your secrets were projected onto the screen?!
I hope the film becomes a mirror that reflects guilt that people had forgotten about. I want people to react, "that's my story," or "I'll never do that again", and feel remorse for their past actions.
It's a film that allows you to be introspective. That's why it's a relatable story.
As the director of this film, this was one of main topic that I thought about the most.
About the Film
The Korean film industry is abuzz in 2013 with webcomic. From drama, comedy, to action, all types of online comic genres are being adapted for the big screen. In particular, 'Fist of Legend', 'Secretly Greatly', 'Misang' are all incredibly popular webcomics with millions of views and sparked interest from the film industry.
Unlike adaptation of webcomics, KILLER TOON will use 'webcomic' as a subject matter to scare the audience this summer, who are looking for chills to frighten away the blazing mid-summer heat. The protagonist of the film is none other than the webcomic artist, whose comics come alive in real life when murders take place exactly as seen in the comic.
Anyone can read webcomics anywhere in modern society via smart devices. It's already a familiar form of entertainment to daily commuters. This film is receiving attention for making the webcomic as a subject matter. Director KIM Yong-gyun said, "people began talking about webcomics like they used to around water coolers with TV dramas and films. Unlike previous films that adapted webcomics, I was fascinated by it being the focus and thought it would add a new flavor to the film by incorporating actual drawings".
As the stories found in the webcomics come alive, victims foresee their demise right before the tragedy strikes. This out-of-this-world premise adds intrigue and builds mystery until the very last frame of the film. As the director stated, blending live action film with comic-style drawings of the murders become a fascinating cinematic tool for the 21st Century.
KILLER TOON brought together LEE Si-young, who never stops challenging herself, and UM Ki-joon, who continually walks the line between the small screen and musical stage. From HOW TO USE GUYS WITH SECRET TIPS to MEET THE IN-LAWS, LEE is a fixture in the romantic comedy genre, whose characters are odd and lovable. Now she turns the table on herself to challenge the horror genre, as a comic artist whose drawings predict future murders. She removes any charm and cutesy image of the past roles and transforms into a horror queen. Director KIM Yong-hwa complimented her transformation, "LEE is a natural born actress. The energy and passion for acting that she breathed were limited to the comedy genre, but she'll show her possibility as a horror actress with this film".
On the other hand, UM Ki-joon, whose appearances on hit TV dramas such as THE WORLD THAT THEY LIVE IN, PHANTOM, and THE VIRUS showcased his cold and charismatic sides, turns into a detective who adamantly believes in his intuition. "UM completely embodied his character with his acting. His performance is totally believable on the screen," says director KIM. His character was the anchor point of the film, who carried the story forward, so it was necessary for him to set the standard for others. In the musical world, UM is already an AAA actor on the stage, having starred in many high budget productions, such as 'Monte Cristo,' 'Jack The Ripper.'
KILLER TOON represents first horror film starring roles for LEE and UM. But they've surpassed all expectations and perfectly transformed into characters who feel so natural in a summer horror film. Together they hold the key to a mystery that kills seemingly innocent victims of ghastly murders.
With 2005's well-made horror film THE RED SHOES, the director KIM Yong-gyun showed the world that a horror film can be beautiful, as well as terrifying. Now he's back with his 4th feature film. He reaffirms his position as a Korean horror film director to keep on eye out for by relentlessly adding his own flair into an established genre.
As his second horror feature film of his career, director KIM said it felt like being a rookie filmmaker again, "I poured all my passion into it as if I was working on my debut film." The main focal point of the film was 'story'. "Structure of the screenplay was very detailed and the story felt full. And the pacing was second to none," and KIM worked hard to create a story that audiences can relate to. "The anchor point of the film was making the characters convincing. I wanted the film to be not just a horror film but something akin to riding a roller coaster and allow the story to thrill and make you nervous at the same time," the director envisioned this film as something that does not go for cheap shocks and scares but emotional and psychological scares that slowly penetrate into the minds and hearts of the audience.
After 'story', the next most important aspect of the film was 'webcomic'. Using this new form of entertainment brought high anticipation and pressure to the director. Since this was the first film in Korea to tackle webcomic as the core premise, the director and filmmakers had to think about how to best bring a story that incorporates this medium. The end result of all these contemplation, discussions and meetings is KILLER TOON. Director proudly said, "there was a definite moment of satisfaction during the making of the film and with the end result."
As mentioned previously, one of the strengths of KILLER TOON is the graphic effect of webcomic panels coming alive in the film. It was the first time in a film that used advanced CG work to add another dimension to flat 2D graphics to make them look as though they're embedded in 3D space.
One of the biggest obstacles that the filmmakers of this film faced was how to best portray webcomic in the film. This debate began even during screenplay development stage, and it was a major challenge to bring flat, inanimate characters in panels to a motion-based medium. They also put great efforts into picking out the right artist who'd draw all the images that are seen in the film.
Because the graphic work would take a year to complete, the filmmakers looked for a webcomic artist who had previous experience with drawing storyboards. And even after the artist was brought in, the work was still no easy task. In order for the drawings to not feel awkward when blended in with the live action footage, the artist drew a rough base drawing that fits the cut in the storyboard, and the director would use the drawing to shoot the scene, and with the final live plate, the artist would draw the final drawing on top of it. It was a massive undertaking that took upwards of 100 hours per drawing.
Animating the webcomic was also a challenge that required 3D effect in order to make the comic feel more convincing. The scene with the most amount of work was the opening flashback sequence that ends with horrifying death of the webcomic editor-in-chief. One of Korea's best CG studio, 2L, rose up to the challenge and divided the drawings into many layers and added moving effects, as if the camera was physically moving between characters. They even added detailed animation into the sequence, such as leaves swaying in the wind or the blood drops sprayed in the air. Only with these details in place, the webcomic truly came alive and gave flat 2D drawings a much-needed vitality.
Also, being mindful of the webcomic fans who are only used to PC screens and mobile devices, the filmmakers shot the film in 1.85:1 screen ratio rather than more cinematic 2.35:1. "We worked very hard to make sure when the still image of the webcomic and moving film came together, they weren't causing negative effects to both, but add more positives by creating synergy effect," director KIM Yong-gyun adds. Such hybrid of traditionally inanimate webcomic into a feature film adds one more interesting aspect to overall intrigue of KILLER TOON.