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[Korean Cinema] Hwayi: A monster boy

Monsters aren’t born. They’re made.

Just over ten years since the release of his disturbingly quirky hit, Save The Green Planet (2003), writer/director Jang Joon Hwan makes his long-anticipated return with the award winning Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013), a tense and gory action thriller that proves Korean cinema is as strong and hard hitting as ever. Starring up and coming youngster Yeo Jin Gu (The Moon the embraces the Sun) and veteran Kim Yun Seok (Running Wild, The ChaserPunch), Hwayi is a beautifully crafted genre film that takes an unflinching look at the makings of a monster and the twisted souls that crafted it.

Reminiscent of other great Korean action-thrillers, such as Park Chan Wook’s Old Boy (2003), Hwayi is a must-watch for fans of the genre, as well as film buffs looking for a tormented thriller that is out for blood.


Life for Hwa Yi (Yeo Jin Gu) has been anything but normal. Raised in the country by five criminal fathers, he’s never been to school or had the opportunity to live a normal life, instead he’s been trained in hand-to-hand combat and become a proficient marksman. As Hwa Yi comes of age his ‘father’ Seok Tae, leader of the group, decides that it is time his son joins that family business.When the group is hired to take out a man and his wife, Seok Tae (Kim Yun Seok )gives the job of killing the target to Hwa Yi, who after initially refusing to take that man’s life proves himself to be a callous killer, emptying the magazine into his victim.

Following his first kill, Hwa Yi soon discovers that everything his has known is the result of a terrible crime his ‘fathers’ committed 14 years ago. As his world comes crashing down around him Hwa Yi lashes out in a bloody rage, using everything his ‘fathers’ have taught him to get revenge on those who stole his life and made him the monster he is.



About the Author: Reiyezerwyre is full time language teacher, and part-time otaku based in Japan, who loves to write about their love of film, music, language and fandom in their spare time.



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