Korean Movie Review – The Terror Live (더 테러 라이브)

According to box office revenue tracker boxofficemojo.com, 2013 was a very good year for Ha Jung-woo. The actor had not one, but two films in the list of the top 10 grossing movies of the year, the first being “The Berlin File” (No. 6) and the second being “The Terror Live” (No. 8).

If you were like me, however, and thought the second title suggested that you might be in for a horror movie filmed in real-time, you were sadly mistaken. There was more than one person who thought that, right?
Former news anchor and now-disgraced radio host Yoon Yeong-hwa (Ha) takes a call from an agitated listener who threatens to blow up a bridge. Thinking it’s a prank, Yeong-hwa dismisses the caller but is given the shock of his life when the Mapo Bridge is destroyed. Rather than immediately inform the police, he senses that he has a huge scoop on his hands and decides to call his own police contact. 
In exchange for his intel, he wants his reinstatement as a news anchor and the opportunity to be the first person to report the story live. Once Yeong-hwa is back on TV, the terrorist proves to be a smart adversary with bombs located not only around Seoul, but also in Yeong-hwa’s earpiece, threatening to kill Yeong-hwa live on the air if he doesn’t follow his instructions.
“The Terror Live” has a lot in common with Joel Schumacher’s “Phone Booth” (2002), which instantly begs the question “How do you make a film set inside one room exciting?” The answer is to use lots of close-ups and pumping music try to increase the tension, and for the most part the film succeeds
The plot unfolds nicely with betrayals, twists and reveals that are more than enough to keep you interested until the end. It isn’t the greatest film, but it’s another excellent vehicle for Ha to demonstrate his range and is a must-see for his fans.

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