Spellbound (2011 film)

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Promotional poster for Spellbound
Directed byHwang In-ho
Produced byAn Young-jin
Written byHwang In-ho
StarringSon Ye-jin
Lee Min-ki
Music byLee Jae-jin
CinematographyLee Doo-man
Edited bySteve M. Choe
Distributed byCJ Entertainment
Release date
  • 1 December 2011 (2011-12-01)
Running time
114 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$18.8 million[1]

Spellbound (Hangul오싹한 연애; Hanja오싹한 戀愛; RROssakhan Yeonae; lit. "Chilling Romance"), also known as My Girlfriend Can See Ghosts, is a 2011 South Korean horror romantic comedy film, starring Son Ye-jin and Lee Min-ki.[2] It is about a magician who falls in love with a woman who can see ghosts. It was written and directed by Hwang In-ho which also marks his directorial debut.[3][4][5][6][7]


Jo-goo, a street magician (Lee Min-ki), notices a miserable looking girl, Yeo-ri (Son Ye-jin), in the audience during one of his performances, and she winds up being the inspiration for his “Horror magic show.” The show becomes a runaway success almost overnight and Jo-goo in turn, is now a successful stage magician with a model girlfriend. Yeo-ri works for Jo-goo, playing the specter in his show. Forward to almost a year later, the darkness inside her, something her colleagues sense, keeps her from truly connecting with them. When Jo-goo’s attempts to include Yeo-ri in a staff dinner finally succeeds, hilarious disaster ensues when she ends up blindingly drunk. Jo-goo calls Yeo-ri the next morning to sort things out, but when the phone disconnects with a weird sound, he decides to drop by her place for a visit instead. There, Jo-goo meets and engages in a game of hide-and-seek with a ghost child, which then scares the bejesus out of him later that night. As the two of them spend more time together, developing a fast friendship, Yeo-ri confesses the long story behind her gray, wan face.

Yeo-ri has acquired an 'unwanted' ability to see the dead ever since she survived a high school automobile accident. She not only sees dead people, but these 'dead people' also appear in her life on a regular basis. In particular, the vengeful ghost of her best friend Joo-hee, who died during that automobile incident, follows her everywhere scaring people around her relentlessly. Yeo-ri eventually ends up leading a solitary life, even her family has fled the country and left her behind. She sleeps in a tent in her living room, speaks to a friend sometimes and only through the phone, resigning herself to the idea that her solitary life is best in the grand scheme of things.

During the course of Jo-goo’s failed attempts to find his lonely friend Yeo-ri a boyfriend, the pair start to develop feelings for each other. And though Jo-goo is sometimes scared witless himself, he loves Yeo-ri enough to overcome his fear. Joo-hee, consumed by jealousy, becomes a threat during the show, prompting Yeo-ri to head off to join her family in order to protect Jo-goo from herself and the ghost. Is getting away going to be that easy, or does Joo-hee have more tricks up her sleeves?[8][9]


Box office[edit]

The film sold 590,232 tickets during its opening weekend of December 9 to 11, and grossed ₩3.7 billion in its first week of release.[18][19] It received 1.6 million admissions after two weeks,[20] 1.91 million by December 18,[21] and more than 2.29 million by December 21.[22] In total, the film had 3,009,356 admissions nationwide, with a gross of ₩22,010,977,000 after six weeks of screening,[23] making it the 7th top-grossing Korean film of 2011, and by far the most successful Korean romantic comedy in recent years.[24]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Son Ye-jin Nominated


  1. ^ "Ossakhan Yeonae (Chilly Romance)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  2. ^ "Chilling Romance (2011)". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  3. ^ "Romance lost between spooks and laughs". The Korea Times. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  4. ^ "Their cold kiss warms screens". The New Paper. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  5. ^ "Spellbound (2011) Movie Review" Archived 2012-05-19 at the Wayback Machine. Beyond Hollywood. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  6. ^ "Movie review: Spellbound". Los Angeles Times. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  7. ^ "Review: Happy to be alive in Spellbound" Archived 2013-01-29 at Archive.today. National Post. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  8. ^ "Spellbound (2011)" Archived 2014-03-30 at the Wayback Machine. CJ Entertainment. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  9. ^ "Preview: A Lovable Horror Film Lead Girl and Her Chilling Romance". enewsWorld. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  10. ^ "Son Ye Jin Returns to the Big Screen With Rom Com". enewsWorld. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  11. ^ "Son Ye Jin Pulls Off a 'Hamburger Kiss' for Chilling Romance". enewsWorld. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  12. ^ "Sohn Ye Jin: 'I Do Not Like Similar Appearance'". KBS Global. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  13. ^ "Son Ye-jin Eyeing Melodrama After Chilling Romance". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  14. ^ "Son Ye-jin casts her spell over new romantic comedy" Archived 2012-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. Korea JoongAng Daily. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  15. ^ "Actress Son Ye-jin's Movie Picks". 10Asia. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
  16. ^ "Sweet-faced at 30". The Straits Times. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  17. ^ "Lee Min Ki and Son Ye Jin Praise Each Other". enewsWorld. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  18. ^ "Spellbound works magic on local box office for 1st win". 10Asia. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  19. ^ "South Korea Box Office: December 2–4, 2011". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  20. ^ "Box office, Nov. 30 – Dec. 13". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  21. ^ "Chilling Romance Likely to Break the Two Million Ticket M". enewsWorld. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  22. ^ "Can Lee Min Jung Lead a Box Office Hit?". enewsWorld. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  23. ^ "South Korea Box Office: January 6–8, 2012". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  24. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2011". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2014-03-30.

External links[edit]