Sector 7


There are problems in Sector 7. The offshore oil rig has failed to strike oil, threatening it with closure. The crew are losing faith and the weak-willed captain is not helping matters. Just when it seems like things cannot get any worse, a spate of mysterious deaths begins. Accidents? A spurned suitor? Or something…monstrous?

Yeah, it’s a sea monster, in case you were wondering.

Sector 7 is the first 3D movie from Korea, boasting nearly 1800 CG shots to not only create the monster but also to create the entire oil rig that film is set on. It features a beautiful heroine, motorcycle stunts, chase scenes, action sequences…and is almost completely hollow.

The plot of Sector 7 is pretty bog-standard. The characters die when expected and in the manner expected. Every step of the film is a formulaic one, every beat a familiar one. The only time things really kick into high gear is in the succession of chase sequences in the last act, but even then the thrills are only skin deep. Indeed, the superficial nature of the piece is best summed up by the glaringly obvious green screen close-ups of the heroine whenever she is riding her motorcycle, her hair blown about by an off-screen fan.

It is a shame, because a lot of the effects work is impressive. The monster itself is a memorable beastie, even if it owes more than a small debt to The Host. It leaks a flammable fluid, so also spends a fair chunk of its time completely immolated, making for a striking visual. The setting is also a great one – the oil rig leaves its occupants no easy escape path and its gloomy metal corridors smack of similar flicks likeAlien, although it rarely succeeds in building even a fraction of that film’s tension.

Internationally, Korean cinema may be associated with art films, edgy thrillers and elegant visuals, butSector 7 demonstrates that the country can also produce cookie-cutter blockbusters just like Hollywood. It doesn’t seem like something worth celebrating.

The extras are basically one Electronic Press Kit (EPK) set of interviews broken up and grouped into three-minute chunks loosely on a particular topic. All consist of the cast and director enthusiastically promoting the film. Aside from some fleeting shots of the set showing just how much of it was added digitally, there is little of any real depth here.

DIRECTOR(S): Kim Ji-hun | COUNTRY: Korea | YEAR 2011 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Madman | RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 | REGION: 4 / PAL | DISCS: 1

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