By MICHAEL GINGOLD
CJ Entertainment, a major player in the Korean media world, is getting scary with a new specialty label devoted to releasing both Asian- and English-language productions in the horror genre.
Today marks the launch of 413 Pictures (named for the fact that 4 is an unlucky number in Asia, as 13 is in the States). Under this banner, CJ will create movies combining elements from both Asian and Western cultures; the plan is to put out four or five local-language Asian features and two or three English-language pictures a year. First up on the latter front is a remake of Huh Jung’s 2013 Korean hit HIDE AND SEEK (pictured), to be directed by actor/filmmaker Joel David Moore (AVATAR, HATCHET). According to the press break, “The movie builds upon themes related to the widening gap between the upper one percent and the lower class. As population in urban areas balloons and real estate prices skyrocket, lower-income segments of society are finding themselves continually getting pushed out. This film explores the question of ‘what if’ when those left marginalized decide to take matters into their own hands.”
Also on the slate is the redux of Derek Nguyen’s THE HOUSEMAID, Vietnam’s highest-grossing fright film ever (reviewed here). The original’s study of class inequities leading to frightening developments on a French Indochina plantation will be transplanted to the Deep South during the Reconstruction Era in the new film, which is being scripted by PRECIOUS Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher. On the Asian-language side, Korean filmmaker Jeon Yun-su’s 2008 drama PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTY is being reimagined as a Thai horror movie, written by Eakasit Thairaat (4BIA, 13 BELOVED) and directed by commercials veteran Surapong Ploensang in his feature debut. “Beyond the tremendous commercial upsides to having a dedicated, branded genre label,” says CJ’s Francis Chung, an important aspect of 413 Pictures will be to discover and nurture emerging genre voices in Asia for both local and U.S. markets.”