Thursday, January 25, 2007

R-Point (2004)

Low on gore but teeming with atmosphere, R-Point is set at the end of the Vietnam War. Everyone is excited to be going home, especially the Korean soldiers. Yet, after an eerie and ominous radio transmission from a long-lost (and presumed dead) platoon, a group of soldiers gets one last assignment. The assignment is to track down the platoon, or at least their radio equipment, and see what the devil is going on. Their destination is R-Point, an isolated and supposedly haunted island. Upon their arrival they find an abandoned mansion-sized building and hole up while they scout the area for survivors or an explanation to the strange radio transmissions. Strange things start happening, and the men start believing that all who enter R-Point will never leave again...

The premise for this film alone got me all tingly inside...and no, that wasn't my Spidey-sense talking. The film starts off swell enough, with a very creepy radio transmission and the group of soldiers entering R-Point only to discover one of their comrades is in fact a ghost of one of the men they are looking for. Phew...did I think I was in for a much as I loved the building paranoia of the soldiers and discoveries of new ghosts (these aren't your typical whispy, vaporous beings - they look like real, solid people) the film just kept getting more confusing and disjointed. For example, the majority of the soldiers weren't really given a back story, so it was hard to distinguish between them or even care about them. Also, the long-haired woman that appears towards the end...I was waiting for a big reveal as to who she might be, but I got nada.

On the other hand, my disorientation and confusing mirrored the soldiers' as they realized they were trapped inside R-Point. There were some positively creepy and frightening moments - my favorite was when someone discovers they are standing in the middle of a cemetery...I jumped in my seat! The ending was pretty brutal and shocking, as the number of soldiers dwindle down to nil.

For all its creepy moments though, R-Point needs a little more substance to hold it together. There was just too much that needed clarification. I'm not asking for my hand to be held, but some explanation would have helped the plot immensely. Still, I would recommend it to those who enjoy Asian horror films.

Order it on Amazon!

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