To coincide with the UK release of wild new action-horror film Project Wolf Hunting, we took some time to hear from South Korean writer-director Kim Hong Sun to learn about the films, and filmmakers, which inspired him…
From his earlier work such as Traffickers, The Chase and Metamorphosis, director Kim has made a name with hard-hitting and original films which seem to push the lines of genre. His shocking new film, Project Wolf Hunting, is a blood-soaked and visceral experience which might be one of the most violent films you’ve ever seen!
During an extradition from the Philippines to South Korea, a group of dangerous criminals unite to stage a coordinated escape attempt from their floating prison. As the jailbreak escalates into a bloody, all-out riot, the fugitives and their allies from the outside exact a brutal terror campaign against the special agents onboard the 58,000-ton cargo ship. But the prisoners aren’t the only ones waiting to rise from the darkness – the freighter may be harbouring an even more sinister enemy…
So what inspired Kim Hong Sun as a filmmaker?
The Film Fan
KHS: I watch a lot of films but I’d like to pick a few directors who have influenced me in the past, and will continue to influence me in the future. There are also directors who inspired me specifically when it came to Project Wolf Hunting. These are all directors who, in one way or another, are engrained in my DNA!
Some of my all-time favourite filmmakers are Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Charlie Chaplin. I enjoy their work for a variety of reasons and if you look at their careers, their films are so diverse.
I also have favourite films which I go back to often, like Amores Perros from director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Training Day from Antoine Fuqua and City of God from Fernando Meirelles. I’m always taking ideas and inspiration from what I see.
Project Wolf Hunting
KHS: Specifically in my latest movie, I found myself inspired by certain films and styles from the directors. I love Ridley Scott’s Alien. This has been a big influence, especially with that sense of confinement and being trapped on the ship. There’s a claustrophobic horror tone in the film which I was really drawn to, and I tried to recreate that.
I love the gun work and use of blood in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. There was so much shocking violence and blood, and it was hard-hitting. Something like this had never been done in a Korean film so my special effects team and I built new devices and pump systems to rival what’s been done in Hollywood.
I’m a big fan of Logan and specifically the action style. The fights and action are so fast-paced, they maintain high energy and everything makes a big impression. The action doesn’t need to be intricate and detailed; it’s about building an overall energy and feeling. This is also what I wanted to do in Project Wolf Hunting, to create energy and have the action driven by what each character might realistically do to survive.
I’m sure a lot of directors would say this, but I’m hugely influenced by Christopher Nolan. He uses very little computer effects in camera and keeps his scenes real. The effect, at least in my opinion, is that everything feels natural. Even in Project Wolf Hunting, we used very little CGI and it was all practical effects on each day of shooting. The main thing we did afterwards was to digitally remove a blood pump here and there, otherwise everything was achieved practically. We had lots of prosthetic body parts too! We even had a special clean-up team for all the blood!
Project Wolf Hunting is out now in selected UK cinemas. Own it on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital 10th April.