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Hello Ghost

(Hellowoo Goseuteu)
Sponsored by: Ciné Asie

Canadian Premiere

  • Comedy
  • /
  • South Korea
  • /
  • 2010
  • /
  • 111 min
  • /
  • 35mm
  • /
  • Korean with English subtitles
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Screening Times


Director: Kim Young-tak
Screenplay: Kim Young-tak
Cast: Cha Tae-hyun, Kang Hye-won, Ko Chang-suk, Lee Mun-soo, Jang Young-nam
Producers: Im Seong-been, Choi Moon-soo
Print Source: Finecut



Raised in an orphanage and adrift as an adult, moody, withdrawn Sang-man knows what life is like when no one knows you, no one can remember your name. Sang-man is driven to suicide out of a simple sense of hopelessness. Fortunately (though he might think otherwise), he’s not very good at it. His latest attempt, of many, finds him in the hospital on the brink of death — and yanked back again. Back to his old, familiar life. Except for one detail — or rather, four of them. The staff at the hospital suspects that Sang-man’s sanity is fraying, because he keeps asking about people others cannot see. People who can float in the air, expand their own heads like balloons and shift from place to place instantly. A fat chain-smoker, a lecherous old coot, an eternally weeping woman and a mischievous young boy. And it seems that these four phantoms — for it is clear that they are spirits yet to find their way to the afterlife — have decided to inhabit Sang-man’s body, controlling his behaviour on and off. The only way Sang-man can rid himself of them, and get back to the task of taking his own life, is to fulfill the wishes that keep these four ghosts bound to the mortal plane…

With Cha Tae-hyun of MY SASSY GIRL and SCANDAL MAKERS in the lead and an inspired crew of comic foils as the spectres that bedevil him, HELLO GHOST is a supernaturally sharp and clever Korean comedy. It mines the familiar territory of the poor, put-upon nice guy who everyone takes advantage of and injects it with a jolt of Asian horror, only flipped upside-down for laughs (did you know that ghosts find those creepy RINGU-style flicks as scary as we do?). Kim Young-tak’s debut feature echoes THE SIXTH SENSE and the out-there effort from Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai, MAD DETECTIVE, but is first and foremost a collection of finely etched portraits of oddball characters and a hilarious examination of the dynamics between them. Word is out that Chris Columbus, director of HOME ALONE and HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, is planning a Hollywood remake. Catch the real thing while you can — or it’ll haunt you for the rest of your days!

—Rupert Bottenberg

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