Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Hae-Jun (Ji-Won Ha) is five feet, one inch, 102 pounds of super cute bad attitude. We first lock in on the ultra hardcore cutie pie on a deep sea oil rig in Sector 7, this movie’s title, fixing a busted gasket, getting gashed in the process, and proceeding to get stitched up without a hint of anesthesia. Hae-Jun is about to get real upset at the cowardly captain of this rig because he’s about to shut down the oil exploration because… well… there’s no oil in Sector 7. Makes sense to me. Thing is, Hae-Jun is really attached to this little part of the ocean because this is where her old man disappeared some twenty five years ago, and she is not going to leave until she gets some answers. Guess what? She’s going to get some answers and those answers will not make a lot of people very happy.

Fortunately for Hae-Jun, her beloved Uncle Man (Sung-kee Ahn) shows up at the rig to deliver the good news that the exploration has been extended. Yay! Life is good on the rig, people are happy, a few months pass and they even find some oil. What we know that these rig employees don’t know is that something weird is going on. We see this first hand as the mysterious character in the hazmat suit is in the basement of this rig checking out some massive wreckage. What could’ve caused all this? Then there’s the tragic death of a crew member during an underground welding session. Personally we thought this poor dudes death was caused by the crew’s gross negligence, but they chose not to go there.

Whatever’s going on, pretty scientist Dr. Kim (Ae-ryeon Cha) was trying to tell Hae-Jun… but that conversation will not take place. Things are getting pretty serious on this rig as the death toll continues to mount, leading the crew to think that they might have a serial killer on board or something. Worst still is that communications are down and the weather is frightful so no help is coming. But it’s not a serial killer. It’s a monster. It’s completely a monster. And this monster is mean and its hungry and it looks like it’s invincible. This monster can live in the sea, it can live in the open air, it can climb walls, it can bust through steel walls like Kool-Aid man and apparently it finds Koreans very tasty.

Where the heck did this monster come from? Well… this is kind of complicated and we can’t tell you that but you can guess that there’s a conspiracy involved somehow, some way. It might have something to do with the fact that this monster looks to be made of out of some kind of flammable material and can burn infinitely. Not that I’m saying that someone would want to harness a giant angry monster as an infinite energy source or anything, because that would be really stupid on top of being wildly irresponsible, but I’m just keeping you informed.

Regardless, this monster is out of control and it’s destroying everything and killing everybody. Eventually this monster is going to have to go head up with our cute girl with the bad attitude and if she doesn’t get the job done I imagine the port city of Pusan will be in a lot of trouble.

The biggest crime committed by director Ji-hun Kim’s movie ‘Sector 7’… and it does commit some smaller crimes… but its major offense is that it’s not ‘The Host’. It’s not fair, this shouldn’t be compared to ‘The Host’… which I own on defunct HD-DVD… they’re two completely different movies with ‘The Host’ being a complex family drama with a monster in the middle and ‘Sector 7’ being a traditional, read… run of the mill… monster movie, but alas if you’re in Korea and you make a monster movie then ‘The Host’ is the standard bearer. It’s not fair but I guess this is unavoidable.

Personally, I had no issue separating the two films, which could be one of the reasons I enjoyed ‘Sector 7’ more than I had any reasonable right to. Oh… it has its issues… believe that. The movie has far more in common with the late eighties, early ninety creature features like ‘Creature’ or ‘Leviathan’ than it does with ‘The Host’, down to the stock, paper thin caricatures being passed off as characters and the overly predictable, simplistic plot. Our pretty star has the annoying tendency of striking a dramatic pose after she does just about anything, it would’ve been nice if the characters had been developed just a little better so when they did eventually get devoured or skewered it actually had some kind of emotional impact for the audience, and for a movie with a reportedly huge budget, some of the special effects, particularly some of the compositing effects, were kind of dodgy.

But… we’re partial to monster movies here at the FCU and there’s really no way around this. The monster in ‘Sector 7’ was a good monster. I can’t call it a well designed monster, more like it was over-designed with all of its spikes and tendrils and legs and stuff that constantly gushed out it, but it was brainless, stupid, single minded of focus with that focus being eating Koreans. While the filmmakers over-complicated this monsters design, they didn’t over-complicate its motivation. Admittedly the time between the opening sequence when Ha-Jun’s father was killed by the little underwater light bugs and the monster finally showed up was a bit of struggle to get through, dealing with the characters we were dealing with, but once the monster started wrecking stuff, ‘Sector 7’ picked up steam and didn’t slow down. It did devolve into complete and total ridiculousness as the Hot Chick v Brutal Monster showdown at times felt never ending… but what are you gonna do?

True enough ‘Sector 7’ which was in 3D in its host nation, is taking a bit of a beating, and we can’t offer up much to defend it other than to tell you that we here enjoyed it despite it’s easily recognizable and glaring flaws. What can we say?

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