The house her family moved into was the home of an old man, say the neighbors, who had a heart attack, and kept a bunch of wolves or wild dogs in the barn, because he was doing some sort of study on them. Kim Sunny, an elderly woman in her sixties living in the US, receives a phone call about the sale of her old family home back in South Korea.
Sunny recalls how 47 years ago, when she was a 17-year-old girl in 1965, she moved from Seoul along with her widowed mother and sister Sonja to a remote valley to undergo a period of convalescence after suffering problems with her lungs. The Kim's lived in genteel poverty at the mercy of their arrogant landlord, Vitae, son of the business partner of Sunny's late father.
Even though he behaves like a wild beast, Sunny's kindhearted mother adopts him and names him Chul-soo, assuming he's one of more than 60,000 children orphaned in the Korean War. She teaches him how to wait patiently before a meal, how to wear clothes, speak, write, and other human behavior so that he could one day live like a normal man.
The two eventually become close; as Sunny opens her heart to Chul-soo, he in turn falls in love with her, the only person to ever show him affection. Feeling threatened, Chul-soo lets lose his bestial instincts and in their fear, the town villagers turn on him.
In present day, Sunny walks into the shed to find Chul-soo sitting there, still as young as he was 47 years ago. Not only were these numbers remarkably high for November, considered a slow season for movie going in Korea, but it was also a rare feat for its melodrama genre.
The film also has the distinction of setting a new box office record for unsung day,” the date on which high school seniors take their College Scholastic Ability Test. On November 15, its 4.12 million admissions surpassed Architecture 101 to become the most successful Korean melodrama of all time.
The film also made its premiere in the Philippines on September 18, 2013, as part of the Korean Movie Festival 2013. Returning to South Korea to sell her former family home, the elderly Kim Sun (Lee Yeong-ran) reminisces about her childhood 47 years earlier.
While initially annoyed by his poor manners, Sun develops a mutual respect and relationship with Creoles as she teaches the mute boy to read, write and behave properly. While Shoeless is initially presented as a purely wild and unkempt beast, quiet moments of interaction with Sun and the other neighborhood children reveal his kind-hearted and curious nature.
While the development of their relationship from distrust to close friends takes up almost half of the film’s two-hour runtime, it is necessary in believing and caring about the central characters and their bond. Though its first-half is almost entirely composed of light-hearted humorous scenes, complimented perfectly by bright costuming and colorful interior set design, it never feels slow and transitions smoothly into the film’s darker and more serious final hour.
Song’s impressive performance is more restrained, yet nuanced due to Shoeless’s inability to speak, with the actor communicating exclusively through his eyes and body movements. Shoeless’s practical wolf makeup appears cheap and unrealistic, while rapid close-up cuts during nighttime sequences make the action difficult to discern.
While it effectively communicates a sense of nostalgia and creates a significant tonal difference from the crisp and cold present day segments, it also proves distracting. While somewhat clichéd in its Beauty and the Beast fairy tale plot, A WerewolfBoy‘s realistic and multi-faceted characters, as well as the actors who bring them to life, make it a step above the usual young-adult supernatural romance film.
After losing her husband, the mother (Gang Young Nam) and the two daughters, Soon I (Park BO Young) and Soon JA (Kim Yang Hi), live at the mercy of Hi TAE (Yew Leon Seek), the son of her deceased husband’s business partner. When doctors advise Sun I to move out to the countryside because of a lung ailment, Hi TAE provides a home in the country for the family.
When Sun returns from the US to sell the family home, it brings back memories of the few short months she lived there with her widowed mother and sister some 47 years earlier. After hearing strange noises from a locked room in an outhouse, she discovers a young boy of similar age who they presume to be an orphan from the Korean War.
But Vitae, son of Sun’s late father’s business partner who acquired the house for them, gets jealous of their budding relationship and begins to stir up trouble… Jo Bungee’s debut film End Of Animal was a brave, Spartan, dystopian vision of a near future where society has broken down after an unspecified apocalyptic has brought the world to its knees and left few survivors.
After fellow critic Hangul Celluloid made the comparison, it was impossible to shake Burton’s Edward Scissor hands from my head, though you could just as easily compare to Nick Castle’s (the original Michael Myers of Halloween) The Boy Who Could Fly; many films share familiar motifs, particularly around perceived outsiders and romance. The relocation of the family from urban sophistication to the simplicity of rural life recalls a recurring trope in Studio Ghibli’s films from My Neighbor Motor to their adaption of Mary Norton’s classic children’s tale The Borrowers, Harriett.
Song Jong-il (Penny Pitchers, A Frozen Flower, The Grand Heist) plays the (pretty much) mute Chul-soo perfectly; throwing himself into his characters animalistic side, there’s no dialogue to rely on. Alongside Park Young (Blood Boiling Youth, Scandal Makers, If You Were Me 4) as Sun they make a cute couple; audiences can believe in this on-screen romance.
It’s a good-looking film, which brings a little more of those elements from the classic Universal and Hammer incarnations of the werewolf alongside Him Piloting’s revisionist take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel And Gretel. Even the makeup is more inline with the hirsute additional sideburns rather than ‘full wolf’ of John Lands’ American Werewolf In London and every Rick Baker inspired transformation since.
But then this isn’t actually a werewolf : the literal translation of the Korean title (Neutral Sony eon) is ‘Wolf Boy ’, far more appropriate for a young man who turns out to be the result of sub- Captain America super soldier experiments. In Vitae (Yew Yeon-seok, Horror Stories, Architecture 101) we find a disappointingly one-dimensional villain, his actions flagged long beforehand as being the rather obvious bully we all take him for.
But perhaps some of Jo’s previous leanings still show: when the elder Sun (spoiler alert) looks back with regret, it’s not at the romance she could have had with Chul-soo, but that her naive last message has led to him losing out on any sort of life, while she has done everything she ever wanted to do in hers. A Werewolf tells the story of a girl named Soon I (Park BO Young) who moves to the countryside with her mother and sister.
Soon I has a lung ailment which is why their doctor recommended the move. Soon after moving into their new home, the family discovers a wild boy (Song Suing I) living in the barn.
Wanting to help, the family takes him in and soon a relationship begins to form between Soon I and the boy. I don’t watch a lot of movies because I usually need more time to really get connected with the characters and like to get deeper into the plot and relationships.
A lot of the credit for this movie being great goes to Song Suing I. And it says a lot about Song Suing I’s performance in that he had almost no lines during the entire movie.
It was all his actions, mannerisms, and the intensity that came from his emotions that brought this character to life. While the rest of the family cares for him too, she takes the initiative to ‘train’ him.
Park BO Young nailed her role by perfectly encapsulating her character. In most ways it was that of a master and a faithful pet, but Chub Sew was a boy, and sometimes I could feel the deeper connection between the two.
I loved watching Chub Sew learn and grow, and even the growth in Soon I was a joy to see. It’s so sad to watch as Chub Sew is constantly accused of wrong doing.
Chub Sew cares so much for Soon I, but others force him to go into hiding. Soon I has an intense goodbye when she must separate from Chub Sew for his protection.
Some 50 years later, we get a heartfelt reunion of Soon I and Chub Sew. The actors really brought these characters to life in an unforgettable way.
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Excerpts may be used provided that credit is given to Drama Kisses (kdramakisses.com) with clear and direct links to the original content. Werewolves made another early appearance in Greek mythology with the Legend of Lyon.
According to the legend, Lyon, the son of Pegasus, angered the god Zeus when he served him a meal made from the remains of a sacrificed boy. The Saga of the Volumes tells the story of a father and son who discovered wolf pelts that had the power to turn people into wolves for ten days.
The son only survived because a kind raven gave the father a leaf with healing powers. Many so-called werewolves from centuries ago were in fact serial killers, and France had its fair share.
In 1521, Frenchmen Pierre Bur got and Michel Verdun allegedly swore allegiance to the devil and claimed to have an ointment that turned them into wolves. Giles Garnier, known as the Werewolf of Dole,” was another sixteenth-century Frenchman whose claim to fame was also an ointment with wolf-morphing abilities.
Whether Bur got, Verdun or Garnier were mentally ill, acted under the influence of a hallucinogenic substance or were simply cold-blooded killers is up for debate. Peter Stubby, a wealthy, fifteenth-century farmer in Bedbug, Germany, may be the most notorious werewolf of them all.
According to a study conducted at Australia’s Calvary Mater Newcastle hospital, a full moon brings out the “beast” in many humans. The study found that of the 91 violent, acute behavior incidents at the hospital between August 2008 and July 2009, 23 percent happened during a full moon.
Although many were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, it’s unclear why they became intensely violent when the moon was full. Research has shown Peter likely had Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a condition discovered in 1978 that causes lack of speech, seizures, distinct facial features, difficulty breathing and intellectual challenges.
In modern times, however, most believe werewolves are nothing more than pop culture horror icons, made famous thanks to Hollywood’s 1941 flick, The Wolf Man.