Last year saw a surge in apocalyptic genre flicks from zombies to monstrous creatures in Korea, with many garnering global popularity, such as Netflix's horror-thriller series, "Sweet Home" and "Kingdom," and the Cannes-selected action film, "Peninsula." In the hope of continuing on the back of these successes this year, OCN is set to roll out the new series, "Dark Hole," to be released on Friday.
The series' lead actress Kim Ok-vin gave a glimpse of how her new drama will stand out from other apocalyptic zombie works.
"When I got the script, I first thought it may be another zombie flick, but it was actually different ... Amid an apocalyptic setting, the story takes a mysterious turn into a complex genre that involves things from sci-fi through to monsters," the actress said during the online media conference for the series, Monday. "Working on this series was mentally and physically very challenging, but I believe it will become a really meaningful project."
Directed by Kim Bong-joo, whose previous work includes the thriller-action film, "The Phone," the series is about people in a fictional town called Muji where a mysterious smoke comes out of a sinkhole and turns those inhaling it into mutants. A group of survivors, including detective Lee Hwa-sun (Kim) and truck driver Yoo Tae-han (Lee Joon-hyuk), must fight against the mutants to stay alive.
The series is penned by scriptwriter Jung Yi-do, who is known for writing the suspense thriller series, "Hell Is Other People" and "Save Me."
"The series follows decisions people make when the world meets destruction due to the smoke, their actions to survive, and values they need to keep in the worst possible circumstance," the director said. "The genre is a thriller but, in the end, it's about the values we need to protect."
The director also noted the key difference of the series from previous zombie flicks. "When people turn into a zombie, their sole instinct becomes to eat. On the other hand, when people become a mutant, they still have their memory, but whatever negative feelings they had start to amplify," the director said. "So a subplot builds up even after the moment a person becomes a mutant."
Hwa-sun lost her husband to a murderer and, one day, she receives a text from the killer telling her to come to the city. In order to catch the killer amid the chaos, she takes on two jobs as a detective and as a rescuer of the survivors.
Kim, who has shown off her acting skills in the film, "The Villainess," hinted that the series will involve a lot of action scenes from her character, noting that she ran five kilometers every day to keep up her strength.
The actress added she took a raw approach to playing her character. "I tried not to look pretentious. It's going to look wild and real," Kim said. "As my character needs to protect people from the middle of mayhem, I tried to make her look rational, hardheaded, and calm."
Actor Lee plays a valiant tow truck driver Tae-han, who is not afraid to risk his life against mutants. He compared his character to his previous, and most notable, the role of a sly prosecutor Seo Dong-joo in the hit series "Stranger," which ended its second season, last October.
"In 'Stranger,' my character was very talkative, whereas in 'Dark Hole,' my character is a man of action. Because Tae-han talks less, I don't have to struggle to memorize lines, but physically, I'm suffering a little bit," he said. "It's interesting to play such contrasting characters within just six months."
Actor Im Won-hee will offer a comical twist to the heavily-plotted, thriller series with his character Park Soon-il. "I defined 'Dark Hole' as a Korean-style apocalyptic film. Although our series is a bit dark, my character adds a dash of Korean sentiment," he said. "The series has a resonating message and B-rated style humor so I hope people will enjoy it."
source: Viki Global TV & The Korea Times