Terror Live, The (Deu tae-ro ra-i-beu) (Blu-ray) (2013)

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Released 15-Oct-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller/Action Trailer-The Berlin File and Devilís Knot
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 97:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Byeong-woo Kim
Icon Entertainment Starring Ha Jung-woo
Lee Kyeong-yeong
Jeon Hye-jin
Kim So-jin
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Korean DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† South Korean Yoon Young-hwa (Ha Jung-woo) has seen better days. In the past five months his wife divorced him and he was replaced as a TV news anchor and relegated to morning talk back radio, taking calls about taxation. He takes a call from a man named Park No-kyu who claims to have planted a bomb. Yoon dismisses Park as a crank, but immediately afterwards a bomb explodes on a nearby bridge. Park calls again and Yoon, sensing a scoop that will get him back his old job on TV, persuades producer Cha (Lee Kyeong-yeong) to bring in cameras while Yoon takes the call doing a live feed with Park, who says he has other bombs ready to detonate, including one in Yoonís earpiece. As the security services led by female agent Park Jung-min (Jeon Hye-jin) search for the bomber and Yoon stays on live TV, it becomes clear that the bomber is not the only one with an agenda.

†††† The Terror Live was written and directed by Kim Byeong-woo, a director with only a couple of features on his CV. The film is tense and claustrophobic using mostly one location, the TV studio although there are frequent news feeds shown on the TV monitors in the studio, and one main actor Ha Jung-woo, who is seldom off screen. I have enjoyed Ha in other films I have reviewed on this site, such as The Chaser (2008) and The Yellow Sea (2010), for which he won best actor at the Asian Film Awards, and he is again excellent in The Terror Live. Other actors such as Lee Kyeong-yeong as the producer and Kim So-jin as Yoonís ex-wife have not a lot to do but the script keeps things bubbling along as the station, the government and the bomber all have agendas that do not bode well for Yoon.

†††† Kim Byeong-woo adds to the feeling of tension and documentary type reality by using moving hand-held cameras (which in this case works), and having the film play out basically in real time, frequently including the digital clock on the wall within the shot. This makes for a film that is well-written, tense and exciting, with some genuine heart in mouth sequences, and it is only in the final ten minutes that it feels overwritten. However, on the evidence of The Terror Live Kim Byeong-woo is a writer / director well worth watching out for.

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Transfer Quality


†††† The Terror Live is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† The film plays out mostly within a TV studio but with outside broadcast feeds. In the studio detail is clear and strong, the colours mostly light with some blue backgrounds. Contrast and detail is consistent while skin tones on occasion have that slight digital yellow tinge. The outside broadcast news feeds were deliberately soft with muted colours. As the film is set entirely during one morning there are no dark scenes, so blacks and shadow detail are not tested.

†††† There was occasional motion blur against blinds in the studio with the constantly moving camera, but otherwise marks and artefacts were absent.

†††† The yellow English subtitles were easy to read. I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† The audio is Korean DTS-HD MA 5.1.

†††† Dialogue was clear. The audio is front oriented, which is to be expected as many scenes involve a TV anchor talking to the camera. However a number of times voices came from off screen including the rears, and the surrounds came into use for music and explosions. The sub-woofer was notable. It was mostly, and appropriately, silent, but rumbled deeply during the explosions and when buildings collapsed. It also added a heart-beat like effect to some scenes which helped to increase the tension.

††††Lip synchronisation was fine.

†††† I cannot find a credit for the score. It was good, supporting the visuals well.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Trailers (3:09)

†††† Trailers for The Berlin File and Devilís Knot play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Terror Live has not yet been released in the US or the UK. The Korean Region A Blu-ray includes a making of, a commentary and trailers. The feature has subtitles, but I cannot find out if the extras do; often they donít. It is also listed on YesAsia.com as being in the incorrect 1.85:1 aspect ratio.


†††† The Terror Live did good business in Korea even though it opened against the Korean sci/fi blockbuster Snowpiercer. It is a well-written, tense and exciting thriller with some genuine heart in mouth sequences which means it is certainly worth seeking out.

†††† The video and audio are very good, extras are only a couple of trailers for other films.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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