My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter
| NewsLetter DailyWeekly

Back

Gore-Drenched 'The Guard Post' Is Mostly Confusion

2008/08/03 | 1065 views |  | Permalink

ERANZI
Repost This
Kyu Hyun Kim (qhyunkim)

Kong Soo-chang's follow-up to "R-Point" is a disappointment

There are hundreds of guide posts (GPs) along the length of the North-South Korean border. South and North Korean troops stationed at them are at a constant state of alert, with heavy artillery pointed at one another. These installations, a cross between a military depot and an underground bunker, are almost self-contained worlds.

One of them, GP 506, has stopped sending messages to headquarters. An experienced MP investigator Sergeant Noh (Cheon Ho-jin, "A Dirty Carnival") and a cynical medical officer (Lee Jeong-heon, "Humming", "Silmido") are sent to find out what happened. They find the troops literally drawn and quartered: the video evidence indicates the murders were committed by Private Kang (Lee Yeong-hoon, "No Regret"), a resident clown and the least likely candidate for going postal.

Further complications are introduced when they find the GP leader Lieutenant Yoo (Jo Hyeon-jae, "Untold Scandal") hiding in the basement, half-crazy with fear and suspicion.

And things don't get much clearer after that. Kong Soo-chang's "R-Point", a Vietnam-set supernatural horror film, garnered praise and box office clout with finely orchestrated ensemble acting and authentic Kampuchean locations. "Guide Post", his follow-up, is also set in the military environment, and again makes use of excellent male thespians, as they growl, banter and confront one another. Unfortunately, the similarities end there.

Kong makes the fatal miscalculation of pushing his film toward another sub-genre of horror altogether, and then simply sitting on that (not uninteresting) premise.

Except for one explosive sequence where Lieutenant Yoo's victim, crushed beneath a van, suddenly comes alive to dispatch a hapless soldier, the "real culprit" behind the shenanigans is poorly handled by the filmmakers. What could have been an intriguing Korean variation on, say, "24 Days After", turns instead into a lugubrious, unimaginative splatter film, fatally devoid of any sense of humor, self-awareness, even political relevance.

Veteran Cheon Ho-jin and supporting players, including Jo and Lee, gamely wade through the bloody miasma, but they can do only so much with the one-dimensional characters they are given. The music score by Choi Seung-hyun lifts pieces from "JSA - Joint Security Area" to disastrous effects. (Why keep reminding the viewers of a superior film set in a similar background?).

One positive thing I can cite for this misguided project is the level of technical achievements, especially special makeup effects designed by L.C.M. (Lee Chang-man, Lee Myong-ok and others): they are as shockingly realistic as those found in medium-level Hollywood productions, if not better.

"The Guard Post" is recommended only to the diehard fans of horror cinema or military hardware buffs: those with a low level of tolerance for a murky, confusing narrative or gruesome, messy violence should stay away.

☆☆★★

2008 OhmyNews
Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"Gore-Drenched 'The Guard Post' Is Mostly Confusion"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Back

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss

Back

 Previous news

Back

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$2.99 per month (you can cancel anytime).
The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Rewards

Activate

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide
DVD Giveaways A Little Monk DVD Giveaway Yobi, The Five Tailed Fox DVD Giveaway The Sword with No Name DVD Giveaway Oseam DVD Giveaway
You Who Came From The Stars (DVD) (13-Disc) (Director's Edition) (First Press Limited Edition) (English Subtitled) (SBS TV Drama) (Korea Version) + 2 Posters in Tube + $10 Off with WG10STARS
$10 Off with coupon WG10STARS
Hello Korean Vol. 3 - Learn With Lee Joon-ki (Book + 2CD) (English Version)
Easy Talk in Korean
Korean Fashion Women
JJANG! Up to 60% off at YesStyle.com's Korean Sale!
Cineasie - Where West Meets East