Published on April 7th, 2008 | by Chris1
R-Point is a peculiar picture out of Korea. Part war movie, part "asian horror", it follows a band of Korean soldiers during the Vietnam war. Their mission? To find a platoon that's gone missing in the vicinity of "R-Point." The problem? They've been missing for six months now, and only now has HQ been getting radio transmissions from them. Or so they think.
I have to say that R-Point is actually a kind of enjoyable film. It's not bad, but I don't know if I'd say its really good either. Supposedly it was the highest grossing horror picture in Korea in 2004, but that's neither here nor there.
At the risk of spoiling the entire picture, think of it like The Twilight Zone meets The Grudge, meets Full Metal Jacket. It really defies any explanation, at least from this westerner's point of view.
Basically the first platoon is dead, natch. You get that from the start. The searchers come across an abandoned building out in the middle of nowhere, and take up residence there for their week long rescue mission. But from there things go awry, and fast.
After one of them turns up dead, they realize, that after thinking about it, he wasn't even a part of their squad at all, but one of the original dead soldiers. Then they all start seeing and hearing strange things, and eventually it leads to all but one of them either being killed, or killing themselves.
The bit with the (also ghostly) American squad showing up was a bit much, and the American actors they got for that part were, well, lets just say they could have found better!
I'd venture to put this more into the horror movie category, right next to Outpost, as in its a ghost story wrapped in a war movie. In that respect it succeeds wonderfully. It's suspenseful and scary, but you do have to resign yourself to that whole horror-movie vibe to get the full effect. To us westerners some parts might seem a bit cliched (like the bleeding radio bit) but for me it harkens back to the Twilight Zone era with a bit of 80's schlock horror thrown in.
There are some parts you have to wonder if there isn't more that we're not seeing, like a lot of deleted scenes or something. The ghostly girl that only shows up for a couple of brief moments only to be revealed later, and the blue-tinted spectral POV shots especially are confusing.
But it's a lot of fun. If you can handle reading subtitles for a while, and feel the need to get your war movie and fright flick fix all at the same time, give R-Point a chance.
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During the Vietnam War, a South Korean army base begins receiving mysterious radio transmissions from a patrol that went missing six months earlier. A shell-shocked commanding officer (Gam Woo-Sung) and a ragtag military unit are sent into the desolate stretch of land known as R-Point to gather clues as to the whereabouts of the missing soldiers...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Kino Lorber films
Original Release Date:
- Woo-seong Kam
- Byung-ho Son
- Sun-kyun Lee
- Won-sang Park
- Tae-kyung Oh
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: it's a lot of fun. If you can handle reading subtitles for a while, and feel the need to get your war movie and fright flick fix all at the same time, give R-Point a chance.