Disaster meets comedy in upcoming film “Sinkhole”

Disaster meets comedy in upcoming film “Sinkhole”

From left, actors Lee Kwang-Soo and Kim Hye-jun, director Kim Ji-hoon, actors Kwon So-hyun, Nam Da-reum, Cha Seung-won and Kim Sung-kyun, pose for pictures during a media conference held in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday. Courtesy of Showbox

By Lee Gyu-lee

The upcoming tentpole, “Sinkhole,” about a group of people who fall 500 meters underground, is seeking to set a new paradigm of disaster movies by adding comedy to the genre.

“Combining two different genres didn’t come easy. It was a great challenge (for me and the production team) to put light-hearted humor into a disastrous situation,” the film’s director Kim Ji-hoon said during a media conference held in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul, Monday.

Disaster meets comedy in upcoming film “Sinkhole”

A poster for the film / Courtesy of Showbox

Dong-won (Kim Sung-kyun) is an ordinary father figure, who is the patriarch and breadwinner of his family. He has been working hard towards his goal of owning a house, and his dream finally comes true when he buys his own apartment in a small building after 11 years.

He is having the time of his life, except for his cat-and-mouse relationship with a nosy, irritating neighbor called Man-soo (Cha Seung-won) after an unpleasant encounter on the day he moved in.

Meanwhile, Dong-won invites his coworkers ― Seung-hyun (Lee Kwang-Soo) and intern Eun-joo (Kim Hye-jun) ― for a housewarming party. But the party soon becomes a catastrophe when the entire building falls down into a massive sinkhole, leaving Dong-won and Man-soo, each with their sons, to come together to survive, along with the coworkers.

Kim Ji-hoon, who directed the 2012 disaster film, “Tower,” which takes place in a 108-story building on fire, said he tried to focus on sharing an optimistic message with his latest film.

“‘Tower’ was all about showing a disastrous situation, whereas with ‘Sinkhole,’ I tried to deliver a hopeful message with a touch of humanity and good humor,” he said. “I thought that a sinkhole would be an interesting setting for the film. Because we’ve never been there, it gave me the creative freedom to add from my imagination.”

The film lacks edge-of-the-seat, high-flying action from the survivors compared to previous disaster films. But it fills in this void with comic moments and witty characters, like Seung-hyun and Man-soo.

The director noted that he wanted the characters to portray normal people who resonate with viewers.

“The cast members and I discussed a lot about how we, as ordinary people, would try to survive in a disaster if we went through that situation in real life. And I tried to show how they would react and come together as a team to survive without turning against each other,” he said. “The cast also helped me a lot by giving me ideas about the comedic scenes.”

Disaster meets comedy in upcoming film “Sinkhole”

A scene from the film / Courtesy of Showbox

Man-soo, who is a single father juggling three jobs to raise his son, comes off as a strange character, showing unconvincing hostility towards Dong-won when they first meet. His exaggerated gestures and expressions almost seem obnoxious and trying too hard to force humor onto the audience.

But as the story goes on, the character settles in and blends with the other co-survivors, after the building sinks into the hole, eventually playing the key figure among the survivors.

Actor Cha expressed that the fellow cast members helped him to easily get into his role. “The script was very well-written and pretty self-explanatory. I didn’t really have to spend too much to study my role, but it was the co-stars that helped me build my character as we created the scenes together,” he said.

Actor Kim Sung-kyun added that the film set, which created a realistic environment down in a sinkhole, helped him play his role.

“The actor who played my son in the film is actually about the same age as my real sons. As we were thrown into the water and had to go through all those tough scenes together on the set, these scenes made him feel like my real son and helped me to get into the role better,” he said.

The actors said that they hope this movie will offer a good laugh to audiences especially during the tough times of the ongoing pandemic.

“When we shot the film, we didn’t expect it to come out during such a difficult time,” Lee said. “If the audience can have a good time with a laugh and a touching moment through our film, I won’t hope for anything more.”

Cha added, “I hope this film can take your mind off of your burdens during this harsh, stagnant time… a lot of money has been put into this film and you’ll be able to see that.”

“Sinkhole” will have its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday in Switzerland, and is set to hit local theaters on Aug. 11.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Conglomerates suspending regular recruitment system

Jobseekers for Samsung affiliates take an online entrance exam at Samsung Electronics’ business complex in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, May 31, 2020. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics By Kim Jae-heun Most major ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Wisdom we learned from our seven years in US

gettyimagesbank In a memoir, author says her family’s American dream shattered but their years of struggles were worthwhile By Kang Hyun-kyung A 34-year-old author, who identifies herself only with her ... Read more »

NK leader's sister warns of 'complete destruction' of inter-Korean ties

North Korean leader`s sister Kim Yo-jong (Yonhap)The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday accused South Korean President Moon Jae-in of being “foolish” and warned of “complete destruction” ... Read more »

US condemns N. Korean missile launch, urges Pyongyang to return to dialogue

Department of State (Yonhap)The US State Department on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, calling the act a violation of UN Security Council resolutions that poses a threat to ... Read more »

Top diplomats of S. Korea, Britain discuss climate change, Afghanistan

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong (Yonhap)Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong spoke by phone with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, on Wednesday and discussed joint efforts on climate change and other ... Read more »

Citibank Korea set to pay huge compensation for retirees

Citibank Korea headquarters in central Seoul. Yonhap By Anna J. Park As Citibank Korea is planning to implement a voluntary retirement program, with employees applying for the program being eligible ... Read more »

Korea ranks 4th in 2021 International Earth Science Olympiad

Team Korea for the International Earth Science Olympiad 2021 / Courtesy of Korean Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity By Kim Bo-eun Korea ranked fourth out of 32 ... Read more »

This year's Busan film festival to be held next month with audience

By Kim Boram SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) — This year’s Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) will return almost to normal after a pandemic-disrupted year, holding an offline opening ceremony with ... Read more »

Vice FM meets Oman's top diplomat, discusses bilateral cooperation

Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon (left) speaks with Omani Foreign Minister Badr Albusaidi during his recent visit to the country. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon ... Read more »

Hyundai to begin car production under President's signature job project

President Moon Jae-in preorders a Casper mini SUV produced by Gwangju Global Motors, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Gwangju Metropolitan Government, from his office, Tuesday. Courtesy of Cheong ... Read more »

2021 F/W Seoul Fashion Week goes online from March 22

Poster for Seoul Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 / Courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week By Park Ji-won Seoul Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 will be held online from March 22 to 27. ... Read more »

6 holiday places you can stay with man's best friend

Booking.com introduces six pet-friendly stays in Korea where travelers can enjoy a vacation with their beloved animals more comfortably. Traveling with companion animals has become more popular as pet ownership ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] UK economist calls for redirecting capitalism to make it more inclusive

Guy Standing, author of “The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class” / Courtesy of Guy Standing Guy Standing, author of ‘The Precariat,’ touts benefits of basic income, a populist idea that ... Read more »

Afghans enjoying activities after self-quarantine

Afghan evacuees enjoy outdoor activities on a playing field at the Leadership Campus of the National Human Resources Development Institute in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, Monday, after they underwent two ... Read more »

Block deal leads KakaoBank's stock price to drop

An employee walks into the headquarters of KakaoBank in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province on August 5. Yonhap By Anna J. Park KakaoBank’s stock price tumbled almost eight percent on Thursday, finishing ... Read more »

Jeon Do-yeon says 'Lost' script made her cry

Actors Ryu Jun-yeol, left, and Jeon Do-yeon pose during an online press conference for JTBC’s new series, “Lost,” Thursday. Courtesy of JTBC By Kwak Yeon-soo Actress Jeon Do-yeon is returning ... Read more »

Additional airlines to resume flights to Saipan despite 4th wave of infections

An Asiana Airlines plane is seen through a window at Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on July 14. Yonhap Travel bubble agreement with Saipan to begin Saturday By Jun ... Read more »

Donations to Asiana Airlines' 'Change for good' campaign exceed W15 bil.

UNICEF Korea Committee Secretary General Lee Ki-cheol, second from left, and Asiana Airlines CEO Jung Sung-kwon, third from left, pose for a picture during the “Change for Good” ceremony, held ... Read more »

Financial stocks to bounce back on KakaoBank's inclusion in bank index

KakaoBank’s head office in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province / Courtesy of KakaoBank By Lee Min-hyung Bank stocks will regain momentum for an additional rally by the end of 2021 after KakaoBank’s ... Read more »

Volvo sells over 2 million SPA-based vehicles

Volvo Cars built with SPA platforms / Courtesy of Volvo Car Korea By Kim Jae-heun Over 2 million Volvo vehicles produced with its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform have been ... Read more »

'News from Nowhere' peeks into DMZ's most secluded village to ponder human conflict, isolation

An installation view of the exhibition “MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021: Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho ― News from Nowhere, Freedom Village” at the MMCA Seoul / Courtesy of the ... Read more »

Gay culture meets sculpture to expand presence in Korea's art scene

“Bulky” (2021) by Choi Ha-neyl / Courtesy of Arario Museum By Park Han-sol Artist Choi Ha-neyl / Courtesy of Arario Museum Problems with body image can often become a source ... Read more »

KOCCA's digital showroom 'The Selects' ends F/W 2021 collection on high note

The picture shows advertisements of KOCCA’s digital showroom, “The Selects,” in Time Square. Courtesy of KOCCA By Lee Gyu-leeThe Selects, a showroom operated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and ... Read more »

K-pop couple HyunA and DAWN flouts taboos, releases first duet mini-album

By Dong Sun-hwa K-pop couple DAWN, left, and HyunA pose during an online press conference and album showcase, Thursday. Courtesy of P NATION K-pop couple HyunA and DAWN, who went ... Read more »

Korean Air to resume flights to Hawaii in Nov.

In this June 17 photo, a Korean Air plane takes off from Incheon International Airport. Yonhap Korean Air Lines, South Korea’s biggest carrier by sales, said Thursday it plans to ... Read more »

Hyundai Motor, LG Energy break ground for battery factory in Indonesia

Hyundai logo is seen during Munich Auto Show, IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany, Sept. 8. Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group and battery maker LG Energy Solution said Wednesday they ... Read more »

Dolce & Gabbana's 'light therapy' collection celebrates life

In this 2011 May file photo, fashion designers Stefano Gabbana, left, and Domenico Dolce arrive in downtown Milan, Italy. AP-Yonhap Dolce & Gabbana are coaxing men off their sofas and ... Read more »

LG Innotek develops eco-friendly magnet

An LG Innotek employee holds a magnet in this photo provided by the company, Monday. Courtesy of LG Innotek By Baek Byung-yeul LG Innotek developed high-efficiency, eco-friendly magnets for use ... Read more »

CCF 2021: Cultural experts underline significance of diversity, egalitarianism

France’s Secretary of State for Digital, Cedric O, speaks during the 2021 Culture Communication Forum at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of CICI By Dong Sun-hwaDigital platforms like Google ... Read more »

Author of 'Dooley' animation publishes new black humor comic book

A new comic book with the roughly translated title of “Game of Death” in English, by Kim Soo-jung, author of “Dooly, the Little Dinosaur.” Courtesy of Doolynara By Park Ji-won ... Read more »

NCSOFT vows to offer more user-friendly service for 'Blade & Soul 2'

The poster for NCSOFT’s new game, “Blade & Soul 2” / Courtesy of NCSOFT By Baek Byung-yeul Korean game company NCSOFT has vowed to offer more user-friendly services for its ... Read more »

Naver, Kakao facing uncertainty amid forthcoming regulations

Kim Beom-su, the founder and chairman of Kakao, delivers a speech at the Startup Campus in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, May 26, 2016. Yonhap Big tech firms hit by increased short-selling ... Read more »

Increasing infections at schools raise concerns

Students have lunch separated by clear partitions in the cafeteria of an elementary school in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, Wednesday. Yonhap By Bahk Eun-ji Concerns are rising among students and ... Read more »

Screening of controversial Chinese film about Korean War canceled

A scene from the film, “The Sacrifice” / Korea Times file By Kwak Yeon-soo A screening of a Chinese film about the 1950-53 Korean War has been canceled in Korea ... Read more »

K-pop boy group LUMINOUS debuts with first album, 'YOUTH'

K-pop boy group LUMINOUS / Courtesy of Barunson WIP By Dong Sun-hwa K-pop boy group LUMINOUS, comprising Suil, Steven, Youngbin and Woobin, has debuted with its first mini-album, “YOUTH.” “YOUTH” ... Read more »

Korean firms' interim dividends surge to record high

This 2020 August file photo shows office buildings of Samsung Group in Seoul. Yonhap South Korean listed companies’ half-year dividends surged to a record high this year as their businesses ... Read more »

CCF 2021: Gov'ts should support artists affected by pandemic

Dinesh Patnaik, director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, speaks at the 2021 Culture Communication Forum at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of CICI By Dong Sun-hwa ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Belgian filmmaker explores why young Koreans are dominating classical music

Pianist Cho Seong-jin, who won the Chopin competition in 2015, is seen in the film “K-Classics Generation” directed by Thierry Loreau. / Courtesy of K-Classics Generation By Park Ji-won It ... Read more »

Korea to lift game curfew for children

Teenagers play online games at a PC cafe in Seoul, in this March 4, 2020 photo. Korea Times file By Bahk Eun-ji The government has decided to abolish the game ... Read more »