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Tidal Wave (2009)

Haeundae (original title)
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A woman named Yeon-hee (Ha Ji-won) lives in Busan with her boyfriend Man-sik (Sol Kyung-gu) near Haeundae Beach. But, when they find out a tsunami will hit the city, They realize they only have 10 minutes to escape!


JK Youn


JK Youn
4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Ji-won Ha ... Gang Yeon-heui
Kyung-gu Sol ... Choi Man-shik
Ye-won Kang ... Hee-mee
Min-ki Lee ... Hyeong-shik
Jeong-hwa Eom ... Lee Yu-jin
Nicole Dionne ... Yeon-Hee (voice)
Joong-Hoon Park ... Kim Hwi
Jae-ho Song ... Choi's uncle
In-kwon Kim ... Dong-chun
Lee Briggs ... Helicopter Pilot
Ho-min Yeo Ho-min Yeo ... Jun-ha
Jason Fenton Jason Fenton ... Man-Sik (voice)
Sean House Sean House ... Helicopter Crew Chief
Yu-kyeong Seong Yu-kyeong Seong ... Child at beach
James Kneafsey James Kneafsey


Professor Kim, a marine geologist, recognizes the impending danger of a mega tsunami headed straight for Haeundae, a popular vacation spot on the south coast of Korea. He desperately attempts to warn authorities and alert the unknowing vacationers of the 500 MPH destructive force of nature headed their direction. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing disaster images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



South Korea


Korean | English

Release Date:

22 July 2009 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Tidal Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (international)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chang Jung Lim was offed for the role of Man-sik but passed out due to schedule conflict. See more »


When the grandmother is watching the wave come in on the bridge, an aerial point-of-view shot shows the wave yet the height of the water around the footings remains constant. See more »


References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

ANutshell Review: Haeundae: The Deadly Tsunami
11 October 2009 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

I suppose most are now acutely aware of how increasingly devastating natural disasters have been in recent years, starting from the 2004 Asian Tsunami which swallowed thousands of unfortunate souls. Then there are the recent destruction caused by typhoons and earthquakes, the latter which we're more acquainted with given the tremors which we feel as a result of neighbouring incidents, a phenomenon not experienced until the last few years.

There are numerous accounts of heroics and tragedy following every disaster, and it's not a surprise that they have become fodder for mass entertainment. We had 252: Signal of Life as the Japanese offering to the disaster genre earlier this year, and the Koreans too have decided to match that with Haeundae: The Deadly Tsunami. With 252 it was the disaster hitting hard and fast first, followed by the shoving of human melodrama down your throat, and thankfully though Haeundae is quite the opposite, having the human drama established first without feeling forced, before the special effects extravaganza took over.

So if you belong to Camp Impatient, then you're likely to feel bored as the film sought to introduce the ensemble characters, each with their respective back-stories and selfish reasons why they go about doing what they are doing, of course with repercussions all nicely built in as well for some karmic response. There's the fisherman and the romance with the daughter of a man whom he had caused the death of, and this provided most of the emotional anchor for the film. Then there are others like the opposites attract with the coast guard and the free-spirited girl from Seoul, a seemingly scheming politician who's in some kind of en-bloc mess with the folks of the coastal village, a much maligned scientist and his estranged wife and daughter, and enough overbearing mothers.

All these provided some 60 minutes worth of dramatic run time before it's time for Nature to hit back with its tidal waves, where quick response to an actual event will save lives, which stemmed from complacency creeping in when early warning signals went uncalled for. The filmmakers here had realistically created the phenomenon of the massive tidal waves with the receding waters and such, and the effects here were nothing short of eye-popping. Fear-inducing even, though there was one quick scene which seemed lifted from Hollywood's Deep Impact upon reconciliation of 2 characters in the face of impending doom.

But of course budget dictated that the effects could only sustain the movie for a short while, and anything more than 2 wave cycles would probably either be cost-prohibitive, or just plain dragging out the misery of the characters in their preservation of lives. Some fade-to-black-at-opportune-moments also came to the rescue of the film, and cheesiness reined comical supreme needlessly as well, though no efforts were spared in others especially the one involving the little girl left in the hotel room, providing that edge-of-your-seat thrills in what would be a literal roller-coaster ride in the last half hour.

Haeundae served more as a disaster film without any preachy overtones regarding the preservation of the environment. In earnest, I thought the release of this film was more like serving up an appetizer to the bigger budgeted extravaganza come November with 2012. That, I want to see.

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