Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
R-Point (2005)
15Contains bloody violence and strong language

Deep in the Vietnam War, on a lonely island known as R-Point, a troop of Korean soldiers disappears but their unnerving distress messages are still being picked up by HQ. Lieutenant Choi (Kam Woo-Sung) is dispatched with another troop to search for the missing men and solve the mystery. But (wouldn't you know it?) R-Point is cursed and the hapless squaddies soon discover Charlie isn't the only one gunning for them in this atmospheric but lightweight chiller.

Once the soldiers set up camp in a derelict mansion, events quickly take a turn for the worse and the tension is cranked up as the men are picked off one by one by forces unknown. The war-torn jungles of Vietnam are fertile ground for psychological drama and this one comes with the added bonus of supernatural hi-jinks - think Platoon with ectoplasm - and in the first reel, director Kong Su-Chang piles on the paranormal. There are some truly nerve-cranking moments including the hellish voices leaking from field radios and a band of spectral soldiers vanishing into the elephant grass.

"CLOYING ATMOSPHERE OF COLD SWEAT"

But as the men lurch from one unexplained incident to the next, the tension fizzles out. There are some half-baked attempts to string a coherent plot together and a woman in white flits into shot occasionally to provide a link to past events. But by the time the grand finale rolls around, you're more baffled than terrified. It's a shame because the cloying atmosphere of cold sweat and tropical fug, enhanced by the Cambodian locations, could be cut with a bayonet. Still, it hasn't stopped R-Point becoming the latest Asian ghost story to get the Hollywood makeover - Hero director Zhang Yimou is apparently being measured for fatigues.

In Korean with English subtitles.

End Credits

Director: Kong Su-Chang

Writer: Kam Woo-Sung

Stars: Kam Woo-Sung, Sohn Byung-Ho, Oh Tae-Kyung, Park Won-Sang

Genre: Horror

Length: 107 minutes

Cinema: 16 September 2005

Country: South Korea

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