Director – Su-chang Kong
Cast – Woo-seong Kam, Byung ho Son, Tae-kyung Oh, Won-sang Park, Seon-gyun Lee, Jin-ho Song, Byeong-cheol Kim, Kyeong-ho Kim, Yeong-dong Mun, Ju-bong Ji
Release Year – 2004
Reviewed by John of the Dead
As an avid fan of war films, and horror film, how can I not be interested in a film that incorporates both war AND horror?!? Being a moderate fan of the recent supernatural Nazi war flick “Outpost”, I figured 2004’s “R Point” would be just as enjoyable…and it was.
The film takes place during the Vietnam War and follows a South Korean platoon fighting on the US-led side against the Viet Cong. The South Korean base in Vietnam receives a radio transmission from a platoon of soldiers who went missing six months prior and were believed to have been killed. Military officials then assign the decorated Lieutenant Choi Tae-in to lead a team of eight other soldiers to R-Point, the area where the soldiers went missing. When the rescue team arrives at R-Point, they discover a tombstone that states the history of the area, which they were not made aware of before embarking on the mission. A century earlier, many Vietnamese were slaughtered by Chinese soldiers, their bodies were thrown into a lake, and then a temple was built over the lake. The R-Point area is considered by both the North/South Vietnamese to be a sacred area, and neither army will go anywhere near it. However something is out there with the South Korean rescue squad, whom are forced to stay in the temple for shelter. Weird things begin to happen to and around the rescue team, forcing some of them to question their sanity, and others to do more drastic things.
I personally enjoyed this film, but not as much as I wanted to. The atmosphere was good, with the soldiers staying in a pretty creepy temple with a war torn backdrop. However this film just had a lot of pacing issues, and left me constantly wondering when things were going to get going. The film started off strong with me being glued to the screen for the first hour or so. After that the film just got a bit slow and didn’t offer me anything new or overly interesting. I was really wishing this film would have given more scare scenes, especially given the fact that it had an awesome atmosphere that could have provided some really creepy scenes. However writer/director Su-chang Kong focused more on the psychological element of the film, basically turning this film into a pseudo Asian version of “Apocalypse Now”, which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite films. Heh.
I am not saying this is a bad film by any means, I am only stating that this film could have been much creepier had a few things been changed and had it not been so long and dragging at times. This film is in it’s own sense pretty interesting, and for the most part provides a fresh take on Asian horror minus a few scenes involving a creepy looking girl with long black hair, which we see all too often in this Asian horror flicks.
Overall, this is an interesting film but gets slow at times and in the end doesn’t deliver anything amazing. Watch if you like horror/war flicks or enjoy psychological horror.