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Ko - production in Busan
  • THE NEIGHBORS
  • by Pierce Conran /  Jul 10, 2018

  • 2012115 MIN | Thriller
    DIRECTOR KIM Hwi
    CAST KIM Yun-jin, Don LEE, CHUN Ho-jin, KIM Sung-kyun, KIM Sae-ron, JANG Young-nam
    RELEASE DATE August 22, 2012
    CONTACT Lotte Entertainment
    Tel : +82 2 3470 3523
    Fax : +82 2 3470 3549

    Based on a webtoon by popular author KANG Full, The Neighbors (2012) was the debut feature of filmmaker KIM Hwi, movie that met with steady success towards the end of the summer season in 2012. It accrued 2.43 million spectators even after films such as The Thieves (2012), The Grand Heist (2012) and Deranged (2012) had already swept up most of the season’s crowds.

    A middle-school student fails to return home from school one day and 10 days later her body is found, unceremoniously stuffed in a suitcase by her killer. Her death causes enormous grief to her stepmother who bears an unspeakable amount of guilt after she failed to show up at school to pick her up that day. The stepmother is now haunted as each day the spirit of the girl returns home as if nothing happened. Further startling the woman is another teenager living in the apartment complex who looks exactly like the dead girl.

    Other residents in the residence are having their own problems as mysteries begin to pop up around them. Soon, the security guards, a local pizza delivery boy, a suitcase merchant, a thug and a busybody housewife all begin to suspect that the killer, who has already struck several times, may, in fact, be the anti-social man living in one of the basement apartments, who orders pizza and buys a new suitcase every ten days, the same interval as the local slayings.

    All the characters live in an old set of apartment towers that lacks the security features of modern complexes and attract an unseemly set of residents due to their lower prices. Despite their proximity to each other, these neighbors know little about one another and the film shows in detail the personal baggage each of them deals with but is unable to share with the people around them.

    Part of the fun of The Neighbors is it’s ensemble cast with features KIM Yun-jin as the stepmother, known to western audiences for her leading role in the ABC hit series Lost, KIM Sae-ron of The Man from Nowhere (2010) as both of the teenagers, THE OUTLAWS (2017) star Don LEE (aka MA Dong-seok) as the local gangster, and KIM Sung-kyun (Nameless Gangster : Rules of the Time, 2012) as mysterious basement dweller.

    KANG has penned several webtoons that have been adapted to the big screen, including the revenge drama 26 Years (2012) and melodrama Ba:Bo (2008). He is also responsible for an earlier work that already examined the relationships in an apartment complex, with dark turns and secrets, in A.P.T, which was also adapted as a film when AN Byung-ki turned it into a horror film of the same name in 2006.

    KIM Hwi went on to helm the shaman horror The Chosen: Forbidden Cave (2015), which served as the closing film of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in 2015 and also features KIM Sung-kyun.
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