Lucid Dream (film)

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Lucid Dream
Lucid Dream (루시드 드림).jpg
Theatrical poster
Hangul 루시드 드림
Revised Romanization Lusideu Deurim
Directed by Kim Joon-sung
Produced by Hong Yong-su, Choi Sun-Joong
Written by Kim Joon-sung
Starring Go Soo
Sol Kyung-gu
Kang Hye-jung
Music by Jo Yeong-wook
Cinematography Park Hyun-Chul
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
Rod Pictures
Distributed by Next Entertainment World (South Korea)
Netflix (worldwide)
Release date
  • February 22, 2017 (2017-02-22)
Running time
101 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Budget US$5 million[1]
Box office US$676,598[2]

Lucid Dream (Hangul루시드 드림; RRLusideu Deurim) is a 2017 South Korean science fiction mystery thriller film written and directed by Kim Joon-sung in his directorial debut. The film was released theatrically in South Korea on February 22, 2017.[3][4] Netflix premiered the film digitally worldwide on June 2, 2017.[5]


Dae-ho, an investigative journalist, seeks to track down the whereabouts of his son who was abducted three years ago. With the help of a detective and a psychiatrist friend, he retraces his memory of the incident through the use of lucid dreaming techniques, eventually learning how to travel into the dreams of others.


  • Go Soo as Choi Dae-ho
  • Sol Kyung-gu as Song Bang-seop
  • Park Yoo-chun as This Man / Kwon Yong-hyun [6]
  • Kang Hye-jung as So-hyun
  • Park In-hwan as Kang Sung-pil
  • Chun Ho-jin as Jo Myung-chul
  • Jeon Seok-ho as Choi Kyung-hwan
  • Lee Suk as Yoo Sang-man
  • Lee Si-a as Choi Mi-yeon
  • Kim Kang-hoon as Choi Min-woo
  • Choi Dae-hoon as Detective Kim
  • Park Jin-woo as Owner of Matna Burger Restaurant
  • Jo Sun-mook as Photographer
  • Lee Chang-jik as Has-been gangster
  • Kwon Oh-jin as Has-been gangster
  • Heo Sung-min as Big guy
  • Hwang Sang-kyung as Male reporter
  • Nam Sang-ji as Nurse at Song Soo-jin’s clinic
  • Lee Eun-joo as Female doctor at Song Soo-jin’s clinic
  • Kim Mi-sung as Nun director
  • Im Hwa-young as Choi Kyung-hwan's wife
  • Noh Hee-soo as Song Soo-jin (Song Bang-seop's daughter)
  • Kim Hye-won as Hyo-jung (Choi Dae-ho's wife)
  • Kim Sun-bin as Ahn Sang-joon
  • Kwon Hae-hyo as Director Park (cameo)
  • Lee Jun-hyeok as Joo Noh-geun (cameo)


Director Kim Joon-sung was inspired to make the film by his own experiences with lucid dreaming and the success of the 2010 science fiction film Inception.[3]

When asked what drew him to the production, lead actor Go Soo stated, "I enjoyed its lightweight feel, like reading a sci-fi novel...But I got nervous and had sweaty hands after reading through it. So I told the director that I wanted in although I was not that good at acting."[3] Go Soo gained 10 kg, and later lost more than 18 kg, in order to physically portray the state of his character before and after he loses his son.[4]

Principal photography began on April 6, 2015, and filming concluded on June 29, 2015 in front of Namhae Catholic Church in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk Province, South Korea.[1][6]


The film was originally scheduled for release in the fall of 2016. However, it was widely reported that the film was delayed due to the sexual assault and rape allegations that surfaced in June 2016 against actor and K-pop star Park Yoo-chun. A staff member of the production confirmed this, saying, "We had to wait until Park was free from the charge and reschedule the date."[6] However, Kim Joon-sung denied this, stating, "It took longer than expected to complete the film because it has lots of computer graphics, which delayed the release."[3] When asked why none of Yoo-chun's scenes were cut in the wake of the controversy, Joon-sung said, "I didn't because his is a character who provides the decisive clue in the story."[3] Lucid Dream was eventually released theatrically in South Korea on February 22, 2017, distributed by Next Entertainment World.[3]

Prior to the film's theatrical release, the American entertainment company Netflix licensed the rights to digitally distribute Lucid Dream worldwide sometime after its theatrical run. After the acquisition, Vice President of Communications for Netflix Asia, Jessica Lee, said, “We are looking forward to ‘Lucid Dream’ becoming a movie that’ll receive great love from audiences all around the world through Netflix”. On June 2, 2017, Netflix branded Lucid Dream as a "Netflix Original" and released the film on its digital streaming platform in 190 Netflix-serviced countries.[7]


The film grossed $676,598 USD on a $5 million USD budget and was considered a box office bomb in South Korea.[2]

Critic Min-Ji Jin of Korea JoongAng Daily wrote that, "Despite the original subject and star-studded cast, the science fiction thriller 'Lucid Dream'...fails to make full use of either." Jin said the plot and characterization were weak, believed the twist ending was forced, and compared the film unfavorably to Inception.[4]

In a review for the Yonhap News Agency titled "Unsalvageable mediocrity," critic Sun-ah Shim wrote, "At face could have been an engaging film, replete with drama, action and paternal love. Instead, it is a mediocre fare that makes for tedious viewing with a distinct lack of suspense." Shim thought, "The film crumbles mainly because of its wholly predictable and loose plot," adding that it, "recycles parts of dramatic devices from Hollywood blockbuster 'Inception'." Shim also disapproved of Park Yoo-chun's performance and believed that the film gave hints about its central mystery too early. In addition, like Jin, he thought the twist was forced. However, Shim gave positive nods towards the film's visual effects and Go Soo's performance.[8]


  1. ^ a b Rumy, Doo (February 6, 2017). "Films drift into alternate realities of dreams and games". KPop Herald. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Lucid Dream (2017)". Korean Film Biz Zone. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Shim, Sun-ah (February 2, 2017). "New Korean sci-fi thriller depicts father tracking down his missing boy in lucid dream". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Jin, Min-Ji (February 28, 2017). "'Lucid Dream' lacks connection to viewers". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  5. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 24, 2017). "New to Netflix for June 2017". IGN. Retrieved June 4, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c E., Maolen (September 29, 2016). "Park Yoo-chun's scenes not cut from upcoming Lucid Dream movie". Yibada. 
  7. ^ "[NEWS] 170222 'Lucid Dream', Netflix bought beforehand and sign distribution contract". February 22, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017. 
  8. ^ Shim, Sun-ah (February 21, 2017). "(Movie Review) 'Lucid Dream': Unsalvageable mediocrity". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 

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