Tuesday, September 4, 2012

THE GUARDPOST (aka GP506) movie review

Guardpost, The (aka GP 506) (2008) (1st viewing) d. Kong, Su-chang

When the titular South Korean Army bunker falls incommunicado, an investigative military team is sent in to assess the situation, only to discover a pile of hacked, dismembered corpses and a single deranged survivor. With only a single rainy night to get to the bottom of things and the clock ticking, team leader Cheon Ho-jin (with gravitas to burn) digs through tattered records and gore-streaked remains for answers; rest assured when they ultimately reveal themselves, it ain’t pretty.

Kong, who impressively served up 2004’s military-minded R-Point, works overtime with his flashback-laden narrative, dropping viewers into past/present scenes with little or no warning. Unfortunately, this disorienting effect only manages to confuse more often than not, as the underdeveloped, similarly clad characters seem interchangeable, especially when factoring in the hallucinatory supernatural forces at play. Despite oodles of claustrophobic atmosphere, and an energetic ensemble whose enthusiastic shouts and screams fill the soundtrack as bunker walls run red, the amount of head-scratching elicited during the excessive two-hour run time ultimately proves a little painful.

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