Korean 3D Monster Epic SECTOR 7 Comes Ashore In The US

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Sector 7 Press Kit / Sector 7 Blog / Gorezone / Avery Guerra

Way back in 2009 I wrote a small article about another ambitious monster movie coming out of Korea called "Sector 7". The film which stars the very fetching Ha Ji-Won, was directed by Yoon Je-Gyun and is very heavily inspired by such classic monster movies as "The Thing", "Alien" and "It: The Terror From Beyond Space" kinda disappeared off the radar until it showed up for a special screening in LA earlier this month. The film has gained a lot of positive reviews from that screening and now the LA based branch of the Korean distributor CJ E&M Pictures is set to unleash the film across America in limited release.

Here is the info on the film from CJ E&M's press material:

The Eclipse is an offshore drilling rig stationed at Sector 7, where the crew spend their days searching for oil, but something else awaits that is deadlier than they can imagine. A desperate struggle against the unknown enemy in Sector 7 begins…the open sea offers no place to hide.

Something awaits 8,000 feet under the sea off the southern tip of Jeju Island.

The Eclipse is the offshore drilling rig stationed at Sector 7, a mining area in the vast open sea located off the southern tip of Jeju Island. The oil drilling excavations end in failure and headquarters gives the order to withdraw.

Captain Jeong-man is sent to oversee the crew’s withdrawal from the Eclipse. However, Hae-jun, the equipment manager (played by Ha Ji-won), is adamantly opposed to the headquarters’ order, as she is certain that oil will be discovered in Sector 7. Motivated by Hae-jun’s conviction of finding oil, the Captain suggests conducting one last drilling exercise.

While Hae-jun and the crew are fully engaged in their final attempt, they lose communication with headquarters, and the crew is overwhelmed by the disconcerting feeling that something is out there. As bodies begin disappearing one by one, the few surviving need to think fast and fight for their lives in a non-stop battle against the mutant monster from the sea. Survival looks unlikely, but Hae-jun and the crew are determined to take any chance to get out of Sector 7 alive.

Sector 7 is a classic monster movie that will keep you entertained to the very end

A special preview screening of Sector 7 in Los Angeles brought in a full house of viewers, anxious to see what happens to the crew on board the Eclipse. With a ton of action sequences and a monster that can withstand almost any assault, the audience was on the edge of their seats throughout the entire film. It’s “Jaws meets The Host” said one, as the indomitable creature of the deep comes to terrorize the family-like crew stationed on Sector 7.

Having a similar premise to Bong Joon-ho’s , this film takes the monster movie a step forward with its realistic 3-D effects and campy monster feel, which proved to be pure entertainment for all. For those who enjoy sci-fi and monster flicks, it is a “definite must-see” said fans of the genre.

With a, “Really cool monster, some comedic moments, great action and special effects,” it’s a Korean film that strays from the norm and will keep you interested in finding out what is in store for the ill-fated crew on board.

Korea’s first 3-D action blockbuster created with original technology

After Bong Joon-ho’s monster in The Host appeared out of the Han River to terrorize the people of Seoul and a huge tsunami struck Haeundae Beach in Busan in Yoon Je-kyun’s Haeudae , Korean audiences were hit with a new generation of computer graphic films.

Sector 7makes the next technological leap with 3-D production and advanced CG technology, all of which was handled by Korea’s own MOPAC Studio, collaborating once again with producer Yoon Je-kyun’s crew—the same crew that successfully handled the effects work on .

MOPAC Studio was onboard throughout Sector 7's entire production process—from pre-visualization, to the interior and exterior modeling of the rig, and to the design of the monster. All effects work was managed and created by MOPAC Studios.

3-D production was planned from the beginning. Sector 7 contains a high ratio of green screen filming, but was not completely composited in the case of the monster. A high proportion of the entire screen had to be embodied in CG. The method of using both actual 3-D shooting and 2-D conversion to maximize cost optimization was taken, as was the case with James Cameron’s Avatar. The skilled handcraft work and raised level of detail on the finished product allayed any concerns about 2-D conversion.

Audiences experience a highly finished level of 3-D effects that are thrilling yet naturally entwined with the story.

Unrivalled female warrior Ha Ji-won is Korea’s Angelina Jolie

Ha Ji-won has always been a fighter and a strong spirited woman in most of her films. Performing various roles like a boxer throwing hard punches for the championship belt, a detective of the Joseon period elegantly brandishing a sword, a geisha dangling men’s hearts on a string, and a stunt woman who leaves the scent of lavender in her wake. In every role, she has left a lasting impression with her irreplaceable presence and obvious athletic skills.

One might even say that Sector 7 was possible only because of the existence of a star like Ha Ji-won. Even though Korea has no shortage of talented actresses, not too many are able to believably go head to head against a monster on an oil drilling rig in the middle of the ocean. Her strong willed desires to find oil on the Sector 7 is also carried through as she does everything in her power to survive against the overpowering mutated sea creature.

But even with her adept physical skills and experience, Ha Ji-won had to train long and hard to prepare for the demands of Sector 7 , a movie filled with grueling action. Her regimen included 8 hours of swimming and weight training each day, so she could be ready for the wire action fight sequences against a CG animated monster. In addition to the physical training, she obtained scuba and motorcycle certifications in order to understand the job and mindset of a deep-sea equipment manager.

Taking on dangerous and physical action scenes without the use of a stunt double, Ha Ji-won’s performance in Sector 7 has established the actress as Korea’s peerless action heroine and brings a thrilling experience to audiences. With Ha Ji-Won at the center,Sector 7 provides a fresh and compelling new take on the sci-fi/action hero.

Top notch cast in Sector 7: Ahn Sung-ki, Oh Ji-ho, Park Chul-min, Song Sae-byuk, Cha Ye-ryeon are aboard the Eclipse

In addition to Ha Ji-won, the charismatic female warrior, actors that represent the best of the Korean film industry are also aboard the Eclipse.

Ahn Sung-ki, often referred to as the pillar of the Korean film industry, took on the role of the veteran captain Jeong-man who is most knowledgeable of the Sector 7 oil rig and its history. His character is just as brave and determined as Hae-jun, as he too stands firm behind the oil excavation efforts. Ahn Sung-ki shows as much strength and effort as his younger co-stars, fighting against the monster in a number of physical action sequences.

Oh Ji-ho, who radiates heartthrob charm, has the role of oil analyst Kim Dong-su, which showcases the actor’s prime conditioning as well as a great sense of humor.

There are is also a great supporting cast: Lee Han-wee as Mun-hyeok, the medic; equipment manager Sang-gu is played by Park Chul-min; welder Jong-yun is played by Song Sae-byuk; and finally, the coy ecologist Hyeon-jeong is played by Cha Ae-ryun. Many of the actors were unfamiliar with acting in front of a green screen and against imaginary characters, however, absolute trust in director Kim Ji-hoon and the production staff made each performance possible.

A forgotten exploration site becomes the scene of life-or-death battles

Sector 7 is an actual exploratory area located on the continental shelf between Jeju Island and Japan’s Kyushu Islands. Oil production on Sector 7 seemed like a realistic goal in the past, as it was believed to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves that would dwarf those in Saudi Arabia. This inspired dreams of Korea becoming an oil-producing nation. Being an extremely promising site, Sector 7 was also a hot potato in Korean/Japanese diplomatic relations in the 1970’s. Now, the existence of Sector 7 is as faint as a fantasy, and is reborn in this film as a battlefield of desperation—the ideal setting for this movie.

Sector 7’s status as an actual location adds a dose of reality to the storyline. But, the isolated and mysterious location also provides the perfect setting for the imagination of a monstrous creature lurking in the long forgotten oil rig.

With no place to hide, the crew members fight in a desperate attempt to survive with heart-stopping action sequences and monster gore, resulting in pure theatrical fun.

100% Korean made Sea Monster – The intricate process behind the creature

MOPAC Studios created a monster that has never been imaginable to any audience. Their main concept behind the creature was to eliminate any pre-visualized movie monsters and create a completely unique living organism. Inspiration for the creature came from seafood. From a sea squirt to different varieties of fish, the creators of the monster went through numerous iterations by combining many sea like characteristics. The creature was also given a full life cycle, starting from a simple tadpole that has transparent and luminous flesh, but tough enough to ward off any bullet.

There are a total of 12 developmental stages, which allow viewers to follow the complete metamorphosis of the monster. Starting out as a slimy sea creature, the monster grows to massive proportions and becomes frighteningly resilient as the film progresses.

US Release Dates:

AMC Cherry Hill 24 (Philadelphia)
AMC Hoffman 22 (DC)
AMC Rio 18 (DC)
AMC Grapevine Mills (Dallas)
AMC Empire (New York)
AMC Ridgefield Park (New Jersey)
AMC Colonial 18 (Atlanta)
AMC Niles 12 (Chicago)

10/14/11 Consolidated Ward (Hawaii)

Sector 7 Trailer:

Sector 7 Photos:

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