Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Woo-seong Kam, Byung-ho Son, Tae-kyung Oh, Won-sang Park, Seon-gyun Lee
Director: Su-chang Kong
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
During the Vietnam War, a South Korean army base begins receiving mysterious radio transmissions from a patrol that went missing six months earlier. A shell-shocked commanding officer (Gam Woo-Sung) and a ragtag military u... more »
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More 6th Sense and less Rambo
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 06/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's the middle of the Vietnam War and a Korean base gets a desperate radio transmission seeking assistance. The message was fairly clear: "we're dying out here!" It was not that the transmission was unusual. What was unusual was that the platoon of soldiers calling in had gone missing for months. As the plot progresses they send out a rescue team to a spot called R-Point. Their mission is clear; they have five days to retrieve either the soldiers, or their dog tags.
The movie had, as most movies do, its high points and its low points. The film was more of a psychological horror film akin to something like a Sixth Sense rather than a Rambo, where all the characters fights their own demons as the rest of the platoon is not bothered by the same experience. Inevitably - someone had to get shot by mistaken identity.
Director Kong Su-chang's attempts to scare us are less than successful. Dead soldier interact with the live soldiers but they don't know it - and neither do we. It is in retrospect that we realize what is really going on - it somehow misses the mark.
No wonder it was Korea's highest grossing horror film in 2004 - the look was really great and there were some awesome shots - and arguably it struck a cultural cord. But was it really very effective to see the ghost's perspective? Kong's technique of using a different color tone to exemplify difference was crucial in giving the viewer some semblance of information on what was going on.
In the end though, 'R-Point' is a lugubrious and unimpressive thriller. It was successful on many levels but the ending left one flat.
Solid Asian Horror
General Zombie | the West | 04/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alright, here's another short one. This is another Asian ghost movie but, gasp, it doesn't follow the conventions of the subgenre to a t, like most of these films I've seen. It's set during the Vietnam war, which is a nice change of setting, I suppose, though it does make the characters a bit tough to tell apart. (As they often are in war movies, what with everyone being dressed the same and wearing helmets and so on.) This movie is fairly slow moving, and it easily could stand to have 10 or so minutes lopped off from between the time that they arrive at R-Point and when things really start moving, but it's less drawn out then plenty of ghost movies, so it's not too bad. This movie is quite genuinely creepy much of the time, with a great locale, an abandoned mansion/plantation looking building out in Vietnamese field, surrounded by jungle. The film may be a bit too scattershot for some tastes, as the supernatural manifestations often seem to lack any particular rhyme or reason, but I think it's a good way to keep you off balance. I particularly like the scene when one lone soldier encounters a platoon of ghost soldiers, seeing them only from behind until they crouch down in the underbrush and disappear, and a later scene where one guy follows a distant apparition out into the night until he stumbles in a a mysterious graveyard. And yeah, it does have some of the conventional girl-ghost stuff going on, but it's not the sole focus of the film, so it's not too tiresome and played out. (Though this element does play a big role in the climax, which is too bad as it's just not as effective as some of the other stuff.)
This film obviously isn't the most expensive thing you're gonna see, but the technical side of the film is more than competent, with some occasionally very beautiful cinematography. The acting is all fine, though they generally aren't asked to do too much. The music, however, is sometimes a concern. Usually it's just unobtrusive, but it occasionally becomes a bit wacky, and detracts from the general mood of the film.
Again, this isn't overwhelmingly original or anything, but it's still a relative breath of fresh air in the increasingly stale movement. (In fact, I would say it probably compares more closely to 'Session 9' than any particular Asian horror film that I can think of.) Worth a look.
Also, I find that 'Best Military Guys Meets Supernatural Horror flick since Dog Soldiers' quote (or something like that) very amusing, as if there were tons military horror films coming out. Though I suppose I must say I disagree with this quote, as I find 'Below' and '28 Days Later' to both be superior to either of these films, but whatever. It's still a silly quote, regardless of whether or not you agree with it.
Vietnam meets Supernatural!
Steve67 | Dallas, Texas United States | 02/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Taking Place during the Vietnam War, the film follows a shell- shocked officer as he heads a group of men through enemy territory on a mission to find a lost platoon. The men venture to R-Point, which is the location of a bandoned mansion that was the last place the men were supposedly last at before their disappearance. With hope of finding clues to the missing men, the group of soldiers crosses into supernatural realms when a certain few begins seeing ghosts of dead men, causing paranoia and fear inthe squad. Unlike other films in the sub-genre, this film focuses more on the creepy atmosphere and does'nt play with the paranoia theme as much as others may have. The movie stays at a constant slow, but moody, pace as it revolves soley around the group of men and their encounter with the supernatural. Overall a creepy old-school ghost story that delivers the chills thanks to its sucessful use of the secluded atmosphere around them. Worth checking out."
Scary and Twisted
Andrew M. Elliott | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie!!! I really thought it was going to be a war movie, but it turns out to be a psychological thriller. Finally a plot that keeps you guessing! I had no idea where this film was going untill the credits rolled. I even had to watch it twice just to see all the things I missed the first time...and it was just as good the second time!
You have to watch this movie...make sure you have someone with you, cause this movie is ...scary and twisted!!!!!"