A rare South Korean-made disaster film is hitting box offices like the tsunami it depicts and pioneering a new genre in local cinema, commentators said Wednesday.
"Haeundae" depicts a tsunami sweeping Haeundae, the country's favourite beach in the southern city of Busan.
It has attracted 7.47 million viewers since its release on July 22, pushing "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" into second place.
"A gripping story, combined with familiar backgrounds, is the key to the success of this rare locally-made disaster film," critic Yu Gina told AFP.
The humour-laced movie is directed by Yoon Je-Kyoon, who demonstrated his talent for witticism in films such as "Sex is Zero" (2002) and "Miracle on First Street" (2006).
Yoon said he wanted to avoid Hollywood-style heroics in "Haeundae".
"Through the film I tried to show how important and valuable human relationships are," he told the JoongAng Daily.
But he had to turn to a Hollywood team for computer-generated special effects that cost five million dollars. They came from Hans Uhlig, who worked on blockbusters such as "The Day after Tomorrow" and the "Perfect Storm".
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