×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

R-Point

Think "Full Metal Jacket" restaged as an Asian ghost movie, and you'll be halfway to "R-Point," a fresh spin on the Korean horror genre after a summer which saw the usual haunted-schoolgirl template reach burnout. Vietnam War-set hokum about a band of South Korean soldiers spooked and sliced in a remote jungle setting drew a healthy 2 million admissions in early fall on the back of heavy promo, and looks likely to haunt Western genre distribs' catalogs as well.

With:
With: Gam Woo-seong, Son Byeong-ho, Oh Tae-gyeong, Park Weon-sang, Lee Seon-gyun. (Korean, English dialogue)

Think “Full Metal Jacket” restaged as an Asian ghost movie, and you’ll be halfway to “R-Point,” a fresh spin on the Korean horror genre after a summer which saw the usual haunted-schoolgirl template reach burnout. Vietnam War-set hokum about a band of South Korean soldiers spooked and sliced in a remote jungle setting drew a healthy 2 million admissions in early fall on the back of heavy promo, and looks likely to haunt Western genre distribs’ catalogs as well.

In summer 1972, strange radio transmissions are received from soldiers of Battalion 53 — soldiers who were thought to be dead six months earlier. Traumatized Choi Tae-in (Gam Woo-seong, commanding), still recovering in the hospital from a battle in which he was the only survivor, is sent with a platoon of hicks, nuts and psychos to investigate the source of the radio signals, a Bermuda Triangle-like area known as R-Point.

Supposedly based on a true story — which is not, in fact, the case — pic follows the motley group for five days as they’re shot at by mysteriously invisible Viet Cong, hole up in a decaying mansion, and slowly realize the mansion is haunted by people massacred by Chinese 100 years earlier. One by one, members of the group go down.

Frosh helmer Gong Su-chang certainly has the scripting background for such material: His earlier pics include Vietnam war drama “White Badge,” the Korean re-make of “The Ring” and serial-killer psychodrama “Tell Me Something.” Thoroughly generic story lacks any real complexity or surprising pay-off, but is highly focused and helmed in a crisp style, with only a slight flabbiness in its mid-section.

Climactic scenes inside the mansion have an emotional intensity that shows the influence of producer Jang Yun-hyeon, who also helmed “Tell Me Something.”

Cambodian locations double OK for Vietnam, and the sprawling mansion — an abandoned French colonial building from the 1920s — makes an atmospheric extra character in the story. (Interiors were later seamlessly recreated in a studio back home for reshoots.) Visual effects are sparingly used but fine. Title, never explained, comes from a novel by Hwang Suk-yeong (“A Tower”), that Gong admired.

R-Point

South Korea

Production: A Cinema Service release and presentation, in association with Sofic Investment and Orion Cinema Network, of a C&Film production. (International sales: Cinema Service, Seoul.) Produced by Jang Yun-hyeon. Directed by Gong Su-chang. Screenplay, Gong, Pil Yeong-woo.

Crew: Camera (color), Seok Hyeong-jing; editor, Nam Na-yeong; music, Dalparan; art director, Ha Su-min; special make-up effects, Lee Chang-man; special visual effects supervisor, Park Ju-hye. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama), Oct. 9, 2004. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: With: Gam Woo-seong, Son Byeong-ho, Oh Tae-gyeong, Park Weon-sang, Lee Seon-gyun. (Korean, English dialogue)

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content