Chungmuro/Film News
Yeo Jin-gu’s big-screen debut in thriller Hwa-yi
by | August 18, 2013 | 52 Comments

The trailer is out for Yeo Jin-gu’s big-screen debut, and the movie looks like a dark, chilling ride with an impressive performance by Yeo. Not that we would’ve expected any less from the teen powerhouse.

The first time we heard about this movie, it was just called Hwa-yi and vaguely described as the story of a young man who embarks on revenge against the fathers who raised him. The title has now been expanded to Hwa-yi: The Boy Who Swallowed A Monster, where Yeo Jin-gu’s character’s name is Hwa-yi; he is, as one father-figure says in the preview, “a little different from us.”

Hwa-yi is raised by five criminals, knowing nothing of his past but growing up relatively normally. But things start to take a turn after he is “confronted with himself” and starts undergoing “an unforeseeable transformation,” hurtling the teenager on a path of conflict and vengeance.

The trailer begins with a terrified Hwa-yi pleading with the leader of his cadre of gangster fathers, Kim Yoon-seok, “I don’t think I can do it, Father. I don’t want to do it.”

Kim Yoon-seok challenges, “You think you’re so different from your fathers? You think you’re clean?” The clip closes on Hwa-yi’s question, “Why did you raise me?”

I have no idea what the big secret is, but the trailer’s got my curiosity piqued. Are we dealing with something paranormal here, or is this more of a straightforward crime thriller? Despite having more questions than answers, I do love the poster below, which depicts the boy’s lower half growing into tree roots—perhaps a metaphor for the secret of his origins, or perhaps a nod to something more literal.

Hwa-yi: The Boy Who Swallowed A Monster will release in October.

Via No Cut News


52 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you for the news!

  2. zakin89

    Oh this looks like one intense movie! > Count me in =)

    And Yeo Jin Gu… This kid is just amazing! Can’t wait to see more of him!

  3. chichi

    Wow, this looks so good and I have a weakness for Yeo Jingu, so I will definitely check it out!

  4. the other kay

    oooh im intrigued.

  5. pogo

    Despite the suckiness of live shoot conditions, I’m greedy enough to say I cannot wait for him to start doing full-length dramas as the protagonist.

    South Korea really has some fantastic child actors working right now but he’s one of the best there is – practically the Song Joong-ki of his generation.

    • 5.1 ilikemangos

      Where are they churning out these stellar child actors?
      I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s an intensity about yeo jin gu that even song joong ki(one of my favs) doesn’t possess.
      I can’t imagine when this boy reaches his 20’s.

      • 5.1.1 KDaddict

        Every word.
        Song JK is totally fab. But Yeo JG is off the scale, even as a teenager.

        • cayl

          this kid is just beyond amazing. . . . .esp the emotional part in his drama . .it leaves me speechless . ..ooowesome actor

      • 5.1.2 pogo

        I think they both have it, but in different ways. But there can be no doubt, Yeo Jin-gu is a phenomenal talent – and I’d wager he’s well capable of going toe to toe with SJK or Yoo Seung-ho in a scene even at his current age, if the opportunity comes – he is that good.

        There’s nothing else to call it, when the impression left by him playing the childhood half of a role is so strong that it makes me keep watching a drama well after his role’s been taken over by the headlining star and the drama itself gets stupid (Moon/Sun) or turns out to be too traumatising to watch without getting upset (IMY). (the same also goes for his leading ladies in the respective dramas, Kim Yoo-jung and Kim So-hyun)

      • 5.1.3 jmjm

        I first saw him in Moon Embracing the Sun and like Pogo I was actually sad when his character grew up. Much as I like Kim Soo-hyun, I still would have rather had Yeo Jin-gu the entire series, hands down.

        I have never been more excited for a young actor. Cannot wait to see where he’s taken us ten years from now. This movie looks rad. And when did his voice get so low lol!

  6. Orion

    Very interesting. I am guessing it’s a crime movie. The “loving father” turns demanding, asks the kid to carry on his “work”. The kid realizes he has been raised to become the next big criminal, that he was only taken in by them to succeed them and turned into a killer.

    I think that premise would be interesting enough without anything paranormal going on. It has a good cast and seeing Yeo in solid role after solid role is a wonderful thing. He is a good young actor and I hope he keeps doing equally good works.

  7. alua

    I would rather not have the paranormal, because that’s not my kind of thing, nor a big fan of thrillers, though I could take a well-written thriller with superb acting.

    Love seeing those young up-and-coming actors shine on the screen (which is why I’m looking forward to this one).

    And that’s one fabulous poster. Loving it.

  8. MeeisLee

    Yay. This kid is keeping rightfully busy :). The premise sounds great!

  9. ilikemangos

    def. going to check this movie out.
    yeo jin gu is a high profile child actor but he has the talent and skills to back it up.
    this movie is so my bag.

  10. 10 mskololia

    Looks good. I don’t get the supernatural reference from the trailer, but wonder if he’s the son of a former gang member who left or something.

    Thanks for the article.

  11. 11 PebbledBeach

    OMG this looks so good. the movie’s probably exploring the nature VS nurture theme which i find very interesting.

    javabeans, if it is not too much trouble could you put the names of the actors who will be playing the other fathers

  12. 12 Arhazivory

    Wow. This looks really great. I love this young man.

  13. 13 Wink

    LOVING the poster!

  14. 14 Quiet Thought

    Be careful when you say that name in Brooklyn, they’ll think its a documentary about our 50th state.

    “Weh are you and Judy going in Januwary?”

    “We’ah going to Hywa-yi to ketch a little sun and drink Mai-taiz ‘onna beach.”

    • 14.1 MrBloo

      LOL So random but funny. Thanks for the laugh!!

  15. 15 spark

    so excited for this movie, especially since my favorite, nam ji hyun, will be playing opposite of him. they have such good chemistry.

  16. 16 Nikilann

    The pics and the poster are wonderful. Man I’m waiting for the movie like crazy now.
    It’s real funny how the teens got the spotlights last year and this year. I wonder if it means we’re gonna see much and much younger(er) people gets the first roles in dramas. We already had idols underage who couldn’t kiss other idols who had their majority (nope Dream High, I’m not talking about your absolutely cute PG romance, at all)… ^^

  17. 17 hore!

    Looking forward to this movie. Its just the matter of time until yeo jin-gu get all the spotlight.

  18. 18 the50-person

    According to wiki, he’s playing a 16yr old guy “raised by five criminal fathers to become a perfect killer. It takes pulling the trigger to discover his true identity after he realizes the mystery surrounding his past and his fate”

    sounds good plus Nam ji hyeon is in!
    definitely going to catch this!

  19. 19 eny


  20. 20 whilethemusiclasts

    This boy is amazing. And by the rate he’s going, he’ll be a total noona killer soon enough – if he’s not already one.

    • 20.1 peeps

      That noona-killer thing could turn literal in the movie:

      “Appa! I don’t want to kill that noona!”

      “Do you think you’re so clean?! You’ve been killing them just by walking past them! Only difference now is that you’re using a gun! Pull the trigger and kill her!”

      “Why did you raise me?”

      *movie starts*

      • 20.1.1 hanie

        I want to watch this movie~

      • 20.1.2 jmjm

        I’m 11 years older than this kid. By the time he’s old enough to fangirl over properly I’ll be too old to fangirl. LIFE IS SO UNFAIR.

        • Rainerust

          You are never too old to fangirl. Well. Fanwoman. 😉

    • 20.2 ilikemangos

      He just turned 16 a few days ago. A few more years a noona-slayer he will be.

    • 20.3 Orion

      I hope not. He’s still a kid. As much as I understand the need of people to fangirl, I kind of draw the line at pedophile tendencies.

      So I hope no noonas will be dying around the boy until he’s old enough to be able to handle that kind of “attention” from netizens and fans.

      He is a handsome boy and he’ll be a handsome man, yes, but any adult who exhibits or expresses sexual/romantic/swoony feelings towards him at this point is in need of a serious talk…

  21. 21 peeps

    That last picture cracks me up.

    In the header, he looks all serious and frightened, like he has the world’s weight on his shoulders. Then in the last picture he just looks like your typical kiddo hanging around with his friendly ahjusshi-s. The difference is just mind boggling. It must be a testament to his acting skills.

  22. 22 hanie

    Definitely will watch/buy this on when it is release internationally… Loving that kid…. His doing intense like nobody business and because of that, this noona ended up watching too many sucky drama while wailing ‘they shouldn’t grow up!!!!’ I see a good future with Kkrama/movie world with YJG & Kim So Hyun & Yoo jung in it.

  23. 23 madzgo

    As far as I know, he was in Sad Story ages ago and other movies as a child actor. Hwayi should not be his big screen debut but his coming-of-age movie. This kid packs a wallop in terms of acting compared to a lot of idol-wannabes befitting a screen veteran. I am glad child actors like him in Korea remain grounded and are much more stable compared to their Hollywood counterparts.

    • 23.1 melusine

      True, Yeo Jin-goo actually made his acting debut in Sad Movie (2005), as Yeom Jung-ah’s son, before appearing in TV dramas.

      He also played young Joo Ji-hoon in Antique and young Jo In-sung in Frozen Flower, among others.

      So this is his first big-screen leading role.

      Super excited for this movie. Aside from YJG (plus Kim Yoon-seok! Jo Jin-woong! Kim Sung-kyun!), it’s directed by Jang Joon-hwan — who made one of my most favorite Korean films of all time, the awesome Save the Green Planet (2003). Have no idea why it took him 10 years to make his second feature-length film, but hopefully this one will be a hit and he’ll direct his third one sooner rather than later.

    • 23.2 bd

      Despite “Sad Movie” (which is a good film and actually has a lot of fun/cute moments despite the title) being Yeo Jin-gu’s very 1st acting role as a young school boy, his prodigious talent was evident from the start.

      Even tho SM was an ensemble film w/ a no. of storylines, YJG got some decent screen-time and he made the most of it.

      And yeah, everything about this looks very promising.

  24. 24 ht

    yum, kim yoonsuk, yum. LOL

    loving that poster!

    • 24.1 ht

      omfg?? i didnt know this was directed by jang joon hwan. and there’s kim sungkyun and jo jinwoong.

      this gon be so good

  25. 25 cheekbones

    Yeo Jin-gu…… may you grow up to be a really, really beautiful and wonderful man and actor.

    I’m slain already.

    And, that’s indeed a beautiful poster.

  26. 26 kate

    wow, totally love the cast! and Yeo Jin-gu is a really good actor, i liked him since he was young.. cant wait for the movie.

  27. 27 Amalia

    Just reading the news of this film has got me super curious! The description sounds very mysterious and very revengy of course. And having already seen Yeo Jin-gu in his other works, I totally have high expectations for him in the film.

    Yeah, from the title, it did get my wondering whether this is going towards the paranormal path or just truly a gruesome crime-mystery. Hopefully the latter. 😀

  28. 28 kimchilee

    I love YJG!!! I just hope the ending in this movie will not be as disappointing as Greatly Secretlly or something along that line. That movie was over hyped and i found it disappointing .. draggy and disappointing ending.

    and yeah.. I love the creative boy/root poster here!! fantastic!

  29. 29 Perrie

    I love Yeo Jin Goo, like seriously. I wish he was a just a little bit older, lol.
    I know every one is always fawning for Yoo Seung Ho, who is great too, but Yeo is just an all around actor for me and charming as well and he’s so handsome for his age, hahaha!

    • 29.1 Perrie

      does this movie kind of sound like repunzel to you guys? (the new disney one) lol

  30. 30 Mia

    Really looking forward to this and hope it gets some screenings overseas. Got to see “The Chaser” with Kim Yoon Suk and a little Kim Yoo Jung a few years back and now Yeo Jin Goo is in a film with him. Hope YJG called her up and took notes.

  31. 31 Kay

    oh man, just the trailer makes me want to give this kid a standing ovation..seriously the top of the crop of young actors out there…..I can’t even imagine the powerhouse he’ll be in his twenties!

  32. 32 Shirley12

    This looks really good. I can’t wait to see it.

  33. 33 pam

    whewww, so excited for him. Jin Gu!! hope it would be great for him!
    I saw him first time in iljimae and falls hard instantly for him, so much that I couldn’t stand his older version of his character (jun ki). I was ga ga over him in Sad Movie and few episode of the horrible jang myung go (those episode with he in it is those only episode I could stomach). By far my favorite is his Giant’s Gang Mo. just. per-fect!
    I love him in sun moon but I HATE the drama because in my opinion it tainted his raw acting performance. like, before he just acts for the heck of it, don’t care about anything and just lost in the character. so raw acting powerhouse. the brute force that just push you.
    but after moon sun with all of that attention, idk, like he’s finally know how great he is and it shows in his performance. like he’s being conscious. in his perfs in IMY and that MV (I forget the singer) I saw some Hwon. and I hate it!
    please Jin Gu ya, please don’t let the fame tainted you. I really hope this movie got him back in the track. amen!

  34. 34 LOVE HS&SH

    I think one day he will become like world star Lee Byun Hyun 🙂

  35. 35 Cee

    He’s still freaking 16 but he got his leading role already, and it’s a thriller movie. Amazing.

    I’m not a big fan of him, but I’ve always known that he would be big.

    I love the poster, and the storyline is so intriguing. So, count me in!

  36. 36 cutiepie2013

    pls watch the trailer in asianwiki. you’ll be more curious about the movie hwayi. you’ll say that he can do action too… love it!

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