An investor planning on developing a tourist resort begins an investigation into the legends of the mysterious Io Island in the hope of exploiting its unspoiled beauty.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hwa-shi Lee
Jeong-cheol Kim
Yun-seok Choi
Mi-hye Kwon
Jeong-ja Park
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An investor planning on developing a tourist resort begins an investigation into the legends of the mysterious Io Island in the hope of exploiting its unspoiled beauty.

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4 October 1977 (South Korea)  »

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Io Island  »

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Korea's answer to The Wicker Man!
18 March 2008 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

While most of director Kim's films are extremely over-the-top melodramas, and highly enjoyable for it (especially the classic The Housemaid), here is a surprising change of tone for the director. In basic plot (man seeks to uncover mystery of disappeared person), setting (a remote island where ancient religious rites are practiced), tone (moody and atmospheric), and music (a soundtrack full of mesmerizing traditional folk music), the film is very much like The Wicker Man done Korean style. Chances are Kim had seen the film and wanted to transpose certain elements to a Korean location, but this is certainly not a ripoff or remake. The above elements are recognizable, but Kim manages to transform those inspirations in his own original way. I won't give away any more of the plot (no spoilers here - the turns the plot takes and the final revelations are very different from The Wicker Man), but you can get more of an idea if you'd like by doing some web surfing for the title "I-eo Island," its current traveling Kim Ki-Young film festival title. By all means catch this rare film if it comes to your area, especially if you're interested in seeing an excellent precursor to today's new wave of Korean horror and fantastic films. I wouldn't call this necessarily a "horror" film - it's more of a mystery with mystical elements, just like The Wicker Man. But the mood and atmosphere are in the same basic realm of a good ghost story.


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