Director aims to deliver wild surprises in comedy horror ‘Handsome Guys’

May 28, 2024

“Handsome Guys” is fundamentally a comedy film, but it incorporates elements from various genres, like mystery and horror, to enrich its narrative, the film’s director said Monday.

“We had a lot of difficulty with the scenes where evil spirits appear. It was challenging to strike the right balance — not too heavy, but also not too light,” director Nam Dong-hyub said at a press event to promote the upcoming film Monday.

The film has a Hollywood-style occult theme, aiming to capture the tone of American comedy films from the 1980s and 1990s, he added.

“We made efforts to find the right tone that suited our movie. We did a lot of rehearsals. I think we were able to blend the genres with sufficient balance in the end.”

Actors Lee Sung-min (L) and Lee Hee-joon pose for photos during a media event in Seoul to promote their new film, "Handsome Guys," on May 27, 2024. (Yonhap)
Actors Lee Sung-min (L) and Lee Hee-joon pose for photos during a media event in Seoul to promote their new film, “Handsome Guys,” on May 27, 2024. (Yonhap)

The comedy horror centers around two men, Jae-phil and Sang-gu, who move into a new house in a rural town. The two men, who consider themselves hot and handsome, immediately draw attention — and suspicion — from both the villagers and two police officers.

On the day of their moving, an accidental event triggers the awakening of a powerful spirit sealed in the basement, setting off a series of unpredictable incidents. While Jae-phil and Sang-gu do not do anything, visitors to their house mysteriously die shortly after arriving.

As the house plays a central role in the film’s narrative, the director said the production team put a lot of effort into designing it to show its transformation throughout the film.

“The story unfolds in the house, which turns out to be much more dangerous than initially expected. It is very old and harbors a big secret,” Nam said.

Actor Lee Sung-min, who played Jae-phil, took the role to bring a new change to his career. A seasoned actor, he gained recent acclaim for his performance in the political film “12.12: The Day” and tvN’s series “Reborn Rich,” among other notable works.

“The character felt very refreshing, and I saw it as a new challenge for me as an actor. I appreciate the film’s blend of various genres, which is a trend in many films these days,” Lee said.

Lee Hee-joon, known for the Netflix Korean original series “A Killer Paradox,” expressed his interest in the scenario’s wild unpredictability.

“I had a thirst for comedy, and at the same time, the scenario was so intriguing. I particularly liked that the story unfolded in such an unpredictable way,” he said.

Despite outwardly appearing tough, his character is actually “very innocent and sentimental, and prone to getting teary,” the actor explained. “He wishes for everyone to live peacefully together.”

“I’d like to invite the audience to get ready for some good laughs,” he said.

The film is produced by Hive Media Corp., known for producing hit films such as the crime action “Inside Men” (2015) and the historical drama “12.12: The Day” (2023).

“Handsome Guys” is set for release on June 26.