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Why Do Koreans Watch Horror Flicks in Summer? Updated: 2007-06-16 12:00:00 KST

Why Do Koreans Watch Horror Flicks in Summer?
Summer is the season when moviegoers in Korea see spine-chilling horror films at cinemas to escape the sweltering heat.
Our Son Heekyung has the latest on this genre and its popularity during the season.
Domestic directors hope to scare the sluggish movie industry back on track by releasing eight horror films this summer.
The release of the film ''The Evil Twin'' late last month kicked off the horror movie season in Korea.
So why is summer considered the best season to release scary cinema in the country?

''The trend of watching horror films at the hottest time of the year in Korea began around five years ago. That's when Korean directors started producing more horror movies in time for a summer release to satisfy moviegoers. An obvious reason for watching such flicks in the summer is to cool off from the heat.''

One of the most awaited horror films this year is ''Black House.''
The story is about a string of mysterious deaths, which itself will be relatively new to Korean audiences.

''The hardest of all was expressing fear and dread. Until now, a mix of horror and mystery were rarely seen in Korean movies.''

Directors are looking for new trendsetters in this genre to shift from the stereotypes that horror films are psychological, use themes to scare people and show disturbing images.

''Korean horror films in the past focused on portraying people's regrets and emotions in life. But not anymore. The lineup for this summer is different. Among the stand outs this year are mystery thrillers and horrors set at hospitals.''

Movie critics say films combining mystery and horror are the new trend this summer.
They say horror flicks in the past had a limited following, but that it's now gaining a wider fan base.

''Filmmakers are coming up with innovative elements to break away from conventional and traditional horror films. The film 'Black House' is a case in point. It's based on a Japanese novel of the same title and revolves around a psychopath.''

Another development is the rise of medical thrillers.
''Return'' is about a 10-year-old boy who kills a child after being awakened by a doctor during surgery.
The mystery is why his life changed for the worst after the operation.
There's also the horror film ''Muoi,'' set in Vietnam.
The secret is behind the portrait.

Son Heekyung, Arirang News.
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