Some awesome widescreen lensing, with New Zealand convincingly repping the polar wastes, can’t compensate for the dramatic emptiness of “Antarctic Journal,” in which the script gets lost along with the explorers. Ambitious psychodrama-cum-supernatural chiller has racked up a respectable but untriumphant 1 million admissions since May 19 release thanks to local star power. Offshore, however, sledding looks even tougher.
A six-man South Korean expedition, led by Choi Do-hyeong (Song Gang-ho, from “Memories of Murder”), plans to reach the Antarctic’s remotest point, known as the Point of Inaccessibility, unaided and by foot — something only done once before, by a Russian team in the ’50s. But they’re already behind schedule, and, in two months, the sun will set for half the year. When the youngest team member, Kim Min-jae (Yu Ji-tae, the villain in “Old Boy”), discovers a journal from a 1922 British expedition, the haunting starts in earnest. Sorting out who’s who isn’t made easier in the early stages by all the goggles and headgear, but film’s biggest problem is there’s very little real human drama to parallel the physical bravado. Tech package is fine at all levels.