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PHOTOGRAPHY

R-POINT

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 107 minutes, audio commentary, 3 featurettes, theatrical trailer, previews

STUDIO: Tartan/ Cinema Service

RELEASE DATE: 2-14-2006

I don't know how it came lurking through like some big sleeping beast, but some of the best films being made are coming from Asia and especially South Korea. R-POINT is an atmospheric horror film that crawled under my skin as fear ate at the Korean soldiers during the course of the movie. The plot is simple. A South Korea Army base in Vietnam (during the Vietnam War in 1972) receives a radio message form a patrol that went missing six months ago at the R-Point. R-Point is a holy area that both the Viet Cong and the South Viet army avoid it. A small team led by Lieutenant Choi (Woo-Sung Kam) go to the R-Point to find the team dead or alive. They come across a creepy mansion and ghosts begin to haunt them. Can they be sure who is alive or who is a ghost? R-POINT builds the atmosphere and the characters as the movie goes on. R-POINT wasn't the highest grossing horror movie in South Korea in 2004 for nothing. It follows in the grand tradition of JU-ON, RINGU, and THE GRUDGE.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Colors and image detail are great. Blacks appear murky during nighttime scenes.

AUDIO: Korean 5.1 Dolby Digital, Korean 5.1 DTS, Korean 2.0

Subtitles: English, Spanish (featurettes and commentary feature optional English subtitles)

Dialogue is clear except the English dialogue in one small part of the film is a little muffled at times. Remember to turn on the English subtitles before viewing the movie or any of the extras.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The assortment of extras provide a wealth of information about R-POINT. The director, producer, and location scout in the audio commentary for the film reveal regret for not having the time to shoot a battle prologue for R-POINT and people would sometimes get lost in the mansion. THE MAKING OF R-POINT featurette tells how difficult it was filming in Cambodia and Cambodia was chosen to as the place to shoot R-POINT because Vietnam didn't have any places that looked like Vietnam during the war anymore. CREATING 1972 VIETNAM is an interview with the production designer as he goes into detail the problems they had getting some items props past customs (in Cambodia), how difficult it was getting some items, and having to create props by himself on location. The SPECIAL EFFECTS featurette has an interview with the guy who did the special make-up effects and dummies for R-POINT. Also included are the original theatrical trailer and previews for other Tartan releases (on DVD now or coming to DVD).

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you love atmospheric Asian horror, R-POINT will fit the bill.

this review is (c)2-28-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com