Summoned by an unexpected phone call, an elderly woman visits a cottage the way she used to when she was a young girl. She remembers a boy she knew half a century before. Moving to a peaceful village when she was a girl she discovered a “wolf boy(,” hiding his large, contorted body in the darkness. The girl, now a woman, has never been able to purge the images of his wild eyes and animal-like behavior from her mind. She recalls teaching the boy how to wait patiently before a meal, how to wear clothes, how to speak, how to write and other human behaviors so that he could one day live like a normal man. She opened her heart to the innocent boy and he fell in love with the girl, the only person to ever show him affection. However when threatened, he let loose his bestial instincts and became the subject of the villagers’ fears. In order to save the life of the boy who risked his to be by her side, she left him with a promise: “Wait for me. I’ll come back for you.”
A Werewolf Boy (늑대소년; RR: Neukdae Sonyeon; lit. "Wolf Boy") is a 2012 South Korean fantasy romance film in which a beautiful teenage girl (Park Bo-young) is sent to a country house for her health, where she befriends and attempts to civilize a feral boy (Song Joong-ki) she discovers on the grounds — but the beast inside him is constantly waiting to burst out.
Director Jo Sung-hee first wrote the script while studying at the Korean Academy of Film Arts and the script went through several rewrites before it was finalized in its current form. This is Jo's commercial debut; he previously directed the arthouse flick End of Animal and the short film Don't Step Out of the House.
A Werewolf Boy had its world premiere in the "Contemporary World Cinema" section of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, then screened at the Busan International Film Festival before its theatrical release on October 31, 2012. It quickly rose up the box office charts to become the most successful Korean melodrama of all time.
Kim Suni, an elderly woman in her sixties living in the US, receives a phone call about the sale of her old family home back in South Korea. Returning to her homeland, she's met by granddaughter Eun-joo, and they drive to the house in the country and stay the night. Suni recalls how 47 years ago when she was a teenage girl in 1965, she moved from Seoul along with her widowed mother and sister Sun-ja to a remote valley to undergo a period of convalescence after suffering problems with her lungs. The Kims lived in genteel poverty at the mercy of their arrogant and foppish landlord, Ji-tae, son of the business partner of Suni's late father. Because of her delicate health, the beautiful yet introverted Suni lives an isolated life in the country home, without any friends her age.
One night, Suni glimpses a shadow in the outhouse; the next day, she discovers a feral boy of about 19 crouching in their yard. The boy's body temperature is 46 degrees Celsius, his blood type unidentifiable, and he can neither read nor speak. Even though he behaves like a wild beast, Suni's kindhearted mother adopts him and names him Chul-soo, assuming he's one of more than 60,000 children orphaned in the Korean War.
At first Suni considers him a nuisance, but eventually has fun taming him according to a dog-training manual. She teaches him how to wait patiently before a meal, how to wear clothes, how to speak, how to write and other human behavior so that he could one day live like a normal man. Chul-soo demonstrates unswerving loyalty and superhuman brawn, thus inspiring the envy of Ji-tae, who lusts after Suni.
As Suni attempts to "civilize" the beast, the two eventually become very close. Suni opens her heart to Chul-soo, and he in turn falls in love with her, the only person to ever show him affection. But their relationship is fraught with difficulties, as Ji-tae begins to cause trouble. Feeling threatened, Chul-soo lets loose his bestial instincts, and in their fear the town villagers turn on him. In order to save the life of the boy who risked his to be by her side, Suni leaves him with a promise: "Wait for me. I’ll come back for you."