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Taiwanese horror/comedy film draws Korean producer's attention

2018/07/17 14:24:17

Courtesy of Third Man Entertainment Co.

Taipei, July 17 (CNA) The 2018 Taiwanese horror comedy film "Secrets in the Hot Spring (切小金家的旅館)" has drawn the interest of Korean film producer Lee Dong-ha at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan) after making its overseas debut.

The 109-minute film, released in Taipei on July 12, was selected to the "World Fantastic Blue" section of the Bucheon festival and was screened on Sunday in its overseas premiere.

Among those in the sold-out theater for the premiere was Lee, who produced the 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film, "Train to Busan," which drew more than 11 million theater-goers in South Korea, according to a statement by Warner Bros. Entertainment, which is distributing "Secrets in the Hot Spring."

At a workshop after Sunday's screening that was attended by "Secrets in the Hot Spring" director Lin Kuan-hui (林冠慧) and leading actor Zhang Ting-hu (張庭湖), Lee and Lin exchanged filmmaking experiences.

During their conversation, Lee was full of praise for Lin's work, the Warner Bros. statement said.

Lin said "Secrets in the Hot Spring" is at its heart a comedy that has been given scary elements to create an environment that is both fun and frightening for the audience.

Lin worried the Korean audience might not pick up on some of the Taiwanese humor until she heard waves of laughter during the premiere, but said the crowd certainly reacted to the scary parts.

"Some people actually jumped when frightened by the ghost scene," Lin said.

Video trailer courtesy of Warner Bros Taiwan

"Secrets in the Hot Spring" is the story of the lead character called Qie Xiaogin (切小金) and his friends exploring his family's hot springs hotel, which seems to be haunted, and the discovery that Qie's grandparents seem to have something to hide.

The film grossed over NT$3.04 million (US$99,500) in its first week in theaters in Taipei and NT$9.11 million nationwide, according to the distributor, and will likely exceed NT$10 million.

Inaugurated in 1997, the Bucheon film festival focuses on South Korean and international horror, thriller, mystery and fantasy films, with particular attention to Asian cinema from East Asia and Southeast Asia.

(By Chiang Pei-ling and Elizabeth Hsu)