From left, actors Byun Yo-han, Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Hee-won and Park Myung-hoon pose during an online press conference for the film “On the Line,” Thursday. Courtesy of CJ ENM
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Crime action film “On the Line” takes viewers into the seedy industry of voice phishing and phone fraud, crimes that manipulate people into giving money or revealing personal information through their phones.
In the upcoming film, Byun Yo-han plays Han Seo-joon, who falls prey to a voice phishing scam and loses most of his fortune. He goes to China to seek revenge against the criminal gang led by Mr. Kwak (Kim Mu-yeol).
It is directed by Kim Gok and his twin brother Kim Sun, the duo behind the 2010 horror film “White” and the 2016 film “Horror Stories 3.”
To show how these criminal groups operate, the filmmakers reenacted scenes where fraudsters prepare multiple scenarios according to common reactions of victims, induce people to commit crimes and even work at large-scale call centers.
“Because the perpetrators hide behind the veil of anonymity, victims suffer from a feeling of false guilt. Voice phishing is a serious crime in which psychological distress is passed on to the victims,” director Kim Gok said during the online press conference for the film, Thursday.
They also tried to depict action scenes as realistic and exciting as possible. Byun performed most of his action sequences himself, without the use of a stunt double.
Byun Yo-han in a scene from the film “On the Line” / Courtesy of CJ ENM
“We hope to bring catharsis to the audience by bringing justice for victims and punishing the scammers,” director Kim Sun said.
Byun said he was able to relate to the script because his mother had been targeted by a scam attempt. She had received a message from a scammer pretending to be her son, but she immediately detected it was voice phishing because he used informal language whereas Byun uses honorifics.
“One of the reasons I take pride in being an actor is that I can raise awareness of such crimes. I decided to join the project hoping that there would be no more victims who suffer from such fraud,” he said.
Sharing an episode in which he got rid of an annoying scam phone caller, Kim Mu-yeol said it felt creepy to have strangers having access to his personal information and manipulating his family into disclosing more.
“At first, I thought the criminal tactic was too systematic and lacked reality. But as I looked into cases of voice phishing, I was surprised at how it is getting more sophisticated and harder to trace. I realized that getting justice would not be easy,” he said.
“On the Line” will hit local theaters in September.Internet Explorer Channel Network