The Terror Live - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Terror Live Reviews

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½ February 17, 2017
Almost everything about the movie leaves a mark..the racy (at times implausible) screenplay, the above-par special effects, the exciting background score and the wicked idea to let all of it unfold in 'real-time'. This South Korean flick is a definite treat for thriller fanatics. (3.5/5)
April 25, 2016
Being On Air with a Terrorist. Very original shaky thriller.
½ April 6, 2016
Unoriginal, but kinda alrightee.
½ February 6, 2016
Emozionante, ma abbastanza pretenzioso. Sceneggiatura non impeccabile.
July 4, 2015
A compact, yet brilliant terror thriller. A disgraced national news anchor seizes his opportunity to take back his broadcast with a live interview with the terrorist who claims to have just blown up the Mapo bridge. Impressively shot nearly entirely inside the SNC news studio. Quite brilliantly written and impressive direction considering the limit of shooting nearly the entire film inside that same studio and the budget of the film which i believe was a little over 3 million. Ha Jung-woo (Nameless Gangster, The Chaser, The Yellow Sea) proves once again his versatility in the varied roles hes taken on throughout his career. Having to command the entire film by himself and while shot in a single location he handles beautifully. All thrillers should take notice.
March 11, 2015
Nothing really to dislike about this movie barring is OTT final act where things didn't quite flow, or make as much sense, as the first two-thirds. Still, entertaining enough.
March 1, 2015

November 21, 2014
Intense, great story plot and excellent acting! Yes some part is stupid and unethical, but an excellent story.
½ September 29, 2014
A pretty entertaining, tense thriller. My favorite thing about it was how the main character was sleazy and pretty unlikeable, though you still sympathized with his predicament. It started to get a bit silly and over-the-top by the end unfortunately, but I still rather enjoyed it. Korean films continue to be hard hitting and brutal in execution and style compared to American films, and this is most effective in movies like these.
September 21, 2014
Hollywood, you want to direct a thriller? This is how you direct a thriller.
August 3, 2014
August 1, 2014
While presented in a conventional manner, this has an unconventional and creative premise that keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense. Overall it is a very effective thriller. There are moments where the story feels a bit artificial and contrived, but if we suspend disbelief we are faced with complex themes of ambiguous morality. Most of all, this very engaging film is carried by superb directing and acting.
April 2, 2014
Unsatisfying third act.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2014
My feelings towards the news outlet is represented by the film "Natural Born Killers" in which it depicts news media commercializing violence. Sure not all news media outlet are out solely seeking profit, but it has become less trustworthy with facts distortion, false story testimony, hypocritical political stance that change on a whim, and hundreds of other issues. "The Terror Live" yes does to a degree support my views on the news media outlet; however, as a film it achieves all the high mark needed for a perfect rating. Excellent writing for the story it's telling, high production values regardless of budget, a magnificent cast, and a key understanding of what genre fans want while also making it accessible for the average viewer.

The Terror Live follows Young-Hwa Yoon, once a top national news anchor attempting to get his title back through an exclusive live broadcast with a terrorist. One thing to note about "The Terror Live" is the amount of creativity put into it taking entirely place in just one broadcast room. Starting things simple and low key for the introduction of protagonist Yoon as an unhappy radio host. It builds beyond that point doing the basics of introducing the premise, the characters, and the conflict setting them immediately in placed. Developing in real time we're able to witness everything fleshed out right before our eyes. Being an immersive experience that's often not capture by written words. For this reason we bare witness the now common practice report it first get it right later mentality of web journalism with the disillusionment and frustration that come from it. It's not far fetched concept nowadays nor is the way how the film tackle this too refrain from reality. Motivations for a live terrorist broadcast make senses from the characters angle going beyond the underline that in the end it's about money. Never does it tell you swallow it owns views rather ask how reliable news reporting is up to the viewer to determine for themselves. For the first two act there's very little to complain about (some of the character development is conventional, but it's better than nothing). Slowly building up to its climax for the two act are flawlessly written keeping the story essentials engaging while building upon what already placed. What will ultimately determine how your reaction on the film as a whole will be with the third act. Revealing the terrorist and his rather disappointing reason behind his actions, though even in context his action could be perceived as overblown. Yet these complaints would automatically be labeled as flaws sneakily tie into how preconceived the media in the film. How much of we what see and hear is reliable from the sources we get this information from and how much do we accept of it as the truth and a work of fiction.

Writer/director Kim Byeong-woo had a taunting task of not only writing a film in just one setting, but also filming it. What instantly catches the eye is the camera being constantly in motion and creating momentum. The camera serves as a tool showing details among the cast anxiety of the situations to creating a feeling of entrapment with little to no influence to change its outcome. Alongside with editing effectively emoting the anxiety felt by its protagonist. Kim Byeong-woo makes great use of all his available resources and intelligently knows how to use them properly. For example, the bridge that has partly collapsed can almost at all times only be seen from a distance and thus the CGI effects look always looks great. Star Ha Jeong-woo does good work in revealing Yoon's motivations through his performance instead of solely through dialogue, and his arc is clearer because of it. Gradually upping the dosages of anxiety and doubt he injected Yoon's smug veneer, the actor has managed to portray a man quickly losing his moorings, but having to at least pretend he's putting up a good fight. Staying on him almost exclusively straying only to offer glimpses through windows or to TV screens, and he carries the responsibility with energy and believability.

The Terror Live fits the term masterful filmmaking in all category. It's an intelligent thriller with a fresh and new concept not widely seen that keeps your attention right to the very end. Doing more so entertaining its audience its asks the bold question of who are the real terrorist in a depiction that purely gray where no simple answer in sight.
½ February 17, 2014
I was really impressed by Ha Jung-Woo's acting. A really well written and directed thriller. Kept me on my toes from the first 5 minutes...strongly rec' it
½ February 6, 2014
Interesting and clever premise for a top-notch action film and the first half indeed develops that premise into great sequences of rapid tempo, neat yet tense settings and, above all, involving acting from Ha Jung-woo. However, as time goes by, plot-holes gradually increase to a somewhat disturbing level and the ending is quite pointlessly lousy. Some may argue that such ending is to prove the infused nihilist voice of the film, but the accompanying lousy anti-establishment message is really a bad choice.
February 1, 2014
Excellent plot. Original and unexpected. The film serves to challenge the audience's view on whether the terrorist's actions were justified or not. Really good show. Lots of suspense and good ending.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2014
This South Korean thriller written and directed by Kim Byung-woo was very entertaining to watch. It stars Ha Jung-woo as an ambitious news anchor-man who monopolizes the live broadcast of a terrorist attack following the explosion of Mapo Bridge on the Han River, as the story unfolds within the narrow confines of a radio booth. Skilfully written screenplay had lots of suspense but offered too many unanswered questions which were popping out like mushrooms while watching the explosions. Some of the situations were very close to impossible... but isn't that what the audience wants these day? Nobody said that this was a documentary or even film about a real event. If you take it as impossible fantasy - it is really fun to watch!

Despite opening on the same day as blockbuster Snowpiercer, The Terror Live performed well at the box office, on the strength of good reviews from film critics and strong word of mouth. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), it consistently placed second on the box office charts, reaching two million ticket sales six days after its release. With a modest budget of ?3.5 billion (US$3.12 million), the film hit its break-even point during its first week of release. After 19 days of release, it has accumulated 5 million admissions to date. That is a success for a Korean movie. Why was so popular?

Excellent directing, screenplay dialogues were pretty good - but some of the situations are far-fetched, acting was superb, photography was enjoyable in every sequence, as well as was the camera work. I like movies with a good and clear sound, and I had no complaints regarding the sound, it was almost perfect!

If you are keen on seeing a work of an unknown rookie, who challenged Snowpiercer ($ 39.6 million dollar global project from Korea's leading director BONG Joon-ho), with the public release of his first commercial film The Terror, LIVE on the same day, and had an upper hand - check this one out!
January 21, 2014
The Terror Live (Deu tae-ro ra-i-beu) South Korean independent non-stop thriller film, produced by Lee Chun-yeon and Chun Roy-kyoung - a directorial-debut by Kim Byeong-woo. Starring Ha Jung-woo, Lee Kyung-young and Jeon Hye-jin. Film was shown at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. Byun Bong-sun handled the work of cinematography, whereas editing work was done by Kim Chang-ju. Lee Ju-no's suitable music-score does the justice with its plot. The Terror Live was made on mere budget of $15,000. Film's climax CGI-use is outstandingly praiseworthy, just because it is so stunning for a film made within limited budget.

Ha is an attitude-owning radio presenter, he was demoted from the job of anchorman. A recently divorced, with his ex-spouse also works at the network as a reporter. Ha receives a call during his on air show, a man who claims that he is going to blow up bridge outside his office. Ha treats the call as just a prank-call and hangs up - but the technicians inform him that call is unable to be disconnected. This caller intercepts his conversation with another caller and threatens Ha that he is going to blow up bridge - Ha asks him to go ahead (believing it's just a prank-call). The next moment a huge explosion is heard outside, shaking the network building. Ha reaches out to his boss Lee Kyung-young via phone and informs him about the incident. Impressed with his job at recording conversation of the terrorist; who has also mentioned his interest in talking only with Ha. Ha trades with his boss to revert his seat to anchorman-ship from radio-presenter, and in return he would continue to engage the terrorists to get tv-ratings. Ha re-connects with the terrorist, who asks Ha to wire-transfer amount of money in his account (bank-account number displays on phone-lcd) for the kind of valuable coverage they are going to do. Before Ha could negotiate with him, Lee already does away with wire-transferring of money. The terrorist demands that the country president should go live on television, and offer apology in front of the nation - for his government's negligence which cost lives of three of his friends on the bridge (that he earlier blew up). Film proceeds to events in which;

Ha is trapped at news-desk with an earphone as tiny bomb - live death of Chief Commissioner of Police, and an anchorwoman - live exposing of bribery by the commissioner and later Ha (himself) - trapped civilians on titled bridge - rapid investigation launched by law agencies. This terrorist only wants Ha to convey his message for because he had been listening to all of television shows when Ha was an anchorman.

Here is a perfect example of filmmaking. A film which is without marketing benefits and yet reached its potential admirers as far as Pakistan or the US. Convincing ideas are required to engage the audience with the storytelling, especially when the story is encapsulated inside a compound newsroom.

Ha Jung-woo wins the show; and not just in this film, I see him as brilliant actor to have stepped out. He portrays different emotions spontaneously. He becomes frustrated with his boss's continual posting of questionnaires to be asked from the terrorist - at the same time lady detective also keeps bugging him to lie to terrorist about president, about to come live - disclosing of Ha's past bribes and stealing of wife's tapes - his impatience with the terrorist - and re-emergence of lost-consciousness, feeling sorry about survivors on titled bridge.

Different movies have taught us about to what degree television networks may go to achieve their ratings (required rating 70%) - but based experience of number of movies that I have watched on the subject this modern approach is far excellent and capable of attracting people of all ages. This is essentially one of the best South Korean non-stop thriller that I have watched since 2011.
January 20, 2014
smart, surprisingly thrilling and love the ending,much, and the rest of review for this awesome movie? it's on this song already "'s sad, so sad, it's a sad, sad situation,...,what have I got to do to be heard? what have I got to do? what have I got to do? when sorry seems to be the hardest word, the hardest word..." (Sorry seems to be the Hardest Word by Elton John feat Blue)
-"...I have a bomb, i'll blow up a bridge...,I'm not joking, i really have a bomb" Park No-Kyu
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