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Immersive tech locks 'Guimoon' audiences in abandoned building

Aug. 4, 2021 - 16:49 By Lee Si-jin
(From left) Actors Lee Jung-hyung and Kim So-hye, director Shim Deok-geun and actors Hong Jin-gi and Kim Kang-woo pose for a photo after an online press conference held on Tuesday. (CJ ENM)

For veteran actor Kim Kang-woo, playing a role in a horror movie for the first time in his 19-year career gave him mixed feelings.

“Having shot ‘Guimoon: The Lightless Door,’ I feel that an actor in the horror genre is required to have the skill to cover a wide range of emotions. It was difficult, but very exciting. I don’t know why I didn’t do any horror movie earlier,” Kim said in an online interview after the film’s press preview Tuesday.

The film, directed by Shim Deok-geun, revolves around the director of the Psychic Research Institute Do-jin (played by Kim) and three university students visiting the Guisari training center.

The center was abandoned after the building’s manager murdered some visitors and committed suicide in 1990. The protagonists decide to explore a rumor about a door there that allows one to enter but not exit, or “guimoon.”

When asked about what concerned them the most during filming, both Kim Kang-woo and Kim So-hye said expressing fast-changing emotions when locked in the shuttered training center with a ghost, and hoping the feelings of horror and urgency is delivered to the audience, were the biggest concerns.

Director Shim’s first commercial movie caught attention of viewers with the use of Screen X, a technology that projects footage onto three walls -- the two sidewalls and the main screen of a theater -- to create an immersive experience.

According to CJ content producer Oh Yoon-dong, most Screen X versions are first produced as a 2D film and undergo a lot of editing with CG in postproduction. But because “Guimoon” was produced with Screen X in mind from the get-go, it required extra shooting for the scenes to create a more realistic immersive view.

“Screen X is a technology invented by CGV and largely enjoyed by international theatergoers. The global audience always had the thirst for Screen X specialized content. I believe this film will solve that problem,” Oh added.

The director was certain that this would be a very different viewing experience.

The Guisari training center in “Guimoon: The Lightless Door” (CJ ENM)

“In shooting the film, my crew and I used a real shuttered building as much as possible, hoping the audiences will feel like they were actually inside the Guisari training center, not just watching the movie,” Shim said.

“Guimoon: The Lightless Door” will be released in 2,000 cinemas around the world starting Aug. 18, including those in Europe, Canada, the US and several Southeast Asian countries.

By Lee Si-jin (