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Korean movie ‘Spellbound’ offers chills and romantic thrills

Spellbound (Publicity photo)A movie that incorporates romance, comedy and...horror?

"Spellbound," one of the films featured in the ongoing Korean Film Festival, is  a top-grossing Korean romantic comedy which sold more than three million tickets during its South Korean run. The movie, which is also known as "Chilly Romance," spins the classic romantic comedy by incorporating a healthy dose of horror.

Jo-Goo (played by Lee Min Ki) is a street magician who found inspiration for his successful "Horror Magic Show" after meeting Yeo-Ri (played by Son Ye Jin), a single woman who lives on her own because she is constantly haunted by ghosts.  Their unusual love story develops as Jo-Goo discovers the reasons behind Yeo-Ri's mysterious life.

"Spellbound" is one of the best romantic comedies I have seen. The film is fast-paced and full of interesting scenarios that elicit laugh-out-loud moments. I love the fact that writer-director Hwang In-ho was able to present comedic moments at the most unusual times. Who would have thought you could laugh and feel scared at the same time?

The movie was enjoyable from start to finish and the lively audience response, laughing and screaming with gusto, is proof of how entertained they were. The romantic music and beautiful cinematography also enhanced the experience.

Impressive actors

The lead actors were also impressive. Appearing in the panel discussion at the "Hallyu sa Pinas" forum at the Hotel Intercontinental, director Hwang In-ho mentioned that his two leads have very different approaches to their roles.

He said actress Son Ye Jin ("April Snow," "Personal Taste") is the type who prepares fully for her scenes while Lee Min Ki ("Quick," "Only You") works best in the moment.

The contrast in the their acting styles is evident in the movie. Son Ye Jin's performance is flawless as she can show all sides of her character and win the audience's heart. She shines throughout the film especially during her comedic scenes. As for Lee Min Ki, he is a pleasure to watch especially when he is shivering in fear or for some other reason (wink! wink!). You must also watch out for Lee Min Ki's scene at the end and you'll understand what being in the moment is. It was superb.

"Spellbound" is a surprising and enjoyable romantic comedy which even men (yes, men!) will like. I guarantee it.

Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG! She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.

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