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Shin Hae-sun leads thriller 'Target' inspired by real-life story

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Actress Shin Hae-sun in a scene from the film 'Target' / Courtesy of Plus M Entertainment
Actress Shin Hae-sun in a scene from the film 'Target' / Courtesy of Plus M Entertainment

By Kwak Yeon-soo

As unusual as it may seem, the incident that leads an office worker to fall prey to a serial killer because she accused him of selling broken items through an online second-hand items market platform in "Target" is more realistic than one may think.

Inspired by real-life events, the film follows an office worker in her 30s, Soo-hyun, who buys a broken washing machine from an online second-hand items market platform. She files a report with the police only to realize that the seller is a psychopathic serial killer.

When the killer targets Soo-hyun as his next victim using her personal information, she grows exhausted and eventually faces a life-or-death situation.

Director Park Hee-gon explained that "Target" is loosely inspired by a real-life story that was featured in SBS investigative journalism show "Unanswered Questions."

"It was shocking to hear how a perpetrator harassed a victim through texting, phone calls or other forms of electronic communications. It filled me with unimaginable terror and led to the idea of making this film," he said during a press conference for the film in Seoul, Monday. "While we were filming 'Target,' I heard that the perpetrator was caught in the Philippines."

While doing his research, the director found out that the majority of scam victims from online second-hand items market platforms are hesitant about reporting crimes to the police because of the generally small amounts of money involved.

"Among the many cases I have encountered, the one who resisted the most was a woman. I thought an ordinary woman doing an extraordinary thing should be the protagonist of our film," Park added.

Shin said she wanted to tell a story that was about something a lot of people experience on a daily basis.

"I've always wanted to do thrillers. For this film, I wanted to convey how scary it is to have my personal space invaded little by little by an unknown person. I thought it could provoke realistic fear because it can happen to anybody," she said.

Shin explained how the action scenes of "Target" were aimed at showing Soo-hyun's grueling fight for survival. "I was in situations where I had no choice but to subdue the perpetrator in order to survive," she said.

Shin debuted with the 2012 teen series "School 2013" and shot to fame after starring in the 2017 mystery thriller series "Stranger." She also starred in the films "Innocence" (2020) and "Collectors" (2021).

"Target" will hit local theaters on Aug. 30.

Kwak Yeon-soo


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