Oldboy (2003) – WTF Happened to This Horror Movie?

The WTF Happened to This Horror Movie series looks back at the 2003 South Korean film Oldboy, directed by Chan-wook Park

It’s time for another episode of the WTF Happened to This Horror Movie? video series, and with this one we’re looking back at director Chan-wook Park’s 2003 South Korean film Oldboy (watch it HERE) – a movie that has not only been ranked on lists of the Greatest Films Ever Made, but has also had people looking at hammers differently for over twenty years now. You can hear all about it in the video embedded above.

Written by Park with Jo-yun Hwang and Jun-hyung Lim, Oldboy is a loose adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name. The film has the following synopsis: Dae-Su is an obnoxious drunk bailed from the police station yet again by a friend. However, he’s abducted from the street and wakes up in a cell, where he remains for the next 15 years, drugged unconscious when human contact is unavoidable, otherwise with only the television as company. And then, suddenly released, he is invited to track down his jailor with a denouement that is simply stunning.

Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yoo, Hye-jung Kang, Dae-han Ji, Byeong-ok Kim, Jin-seo Yoon, Dal-su Oh, Kwang-rok Oh, Tae-kyung Oh, Yeon-seok Yoo, and Il-han Woo star.

Ten years after the original Oldboy, Spike Lee directed an English-language remake that stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, and Samuel L. Jackson.

This is what the WTF Happened to This Horror Movie series is all about: Hollywood has had its fair share of historically troubled productions. Whether it was casting changes, actor deaths, fired directors, in-production rewrites, constant delays, budget cuts or studio edits, these films had every intention to be a blockbuster, but were beset with unforeseen disasters. Sometimes huge hits, sometimes box office bombs. Either way, we have to ask: WTF Happened To This Horror Movie?

The Oldboy episode of WTF Happened to This Horror Movie? was Written, Narrated, and Edited by Tyler Nichols, Produced by Lance Vlcek and John Fallon, and Executive Produced by Berge Garabedian.

A couple of the previous episodes of the show can be seen below. To see more, head over to our JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channel – and subscribe while you’re there!

What do you think of Oldboy? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.