Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)

Director: Beom-sik Jeong.
Starring.Wi Ha-joon, Park Ji-hyun, Oh Ah-yeon, Moon Ye-won, Park Sung-hoon , Yoo Je-yoon , Lee Seung-wook. South Korean. 1h 35m.

Today I was today years old when I realised that I might not be mature enough for some horror movies, I finished watching this fairly boring mediocre found footage horror that I felt has brought nothing new to the genre, only to find out that everyone adores it, I find this more interesting than the film, but I think it’s time to take on board that I’m a seasoned film enthusiast who’s seen it all and while a younger and fresher generation are entering in with movies such as this, sorry kids, it’s borrowing from everything and isn’t all that impressive..

Now that’s out of my system, a deeper look into the Haunted Asylum.. The film opens with a group of adventurers film their tour of the hospital, when trying to enter room 402 they hear ping pong balls and the broadcast abruptly ends and the boys are never heard from again, seeing this as an invitation, a YouTube group called Horror Times, decide to explore the building as well. Because that’s what rational people do.

Six adventures and Ha-Joon head out to the site with the intention of broadcasting their findings live to try and gain 1million viewers, but things turn into a trippy silent hill adventure and it just gets loud and almost obnoxious in its lackluster approach.

Everyone straps on a camera, and the film switches from personal POV to the live feed showing everyone’s scared face in the darkness. Things go bump in the night and everyone screams a lot. It really is Blair Witch in an asylum. For me the only magic is that the hospital is real and the film sparked some outrage when the hospital came up for sale and no one would buy it! But surely someone would take the initiative and film a real live ghost hunting youtube livestream from the site!?

After the initial introduction to the crew, where they are seen as being a lively happy bunch, because we have to like them to mourn them, there’s just a range of jumps and scares that gradually build up, hands come out of holes in the ceiling, they find some ping pong balls,. But in all fairness the team do uncover some plot but there’s no real turning points, or anything to really work your head around, it’s just some scares slapped on the plate and you’re expected to guzzle, but in it’s defense, I admire the use of surreal atmosphere and practical effects instead of lashings of CGI but I really did miss the blood and gore.

It’s well presented with little in the way of goods and plot holes but an aged cine freak like myself has seen it all before, and it’s not a boast, it’s just simply where I’m coming from in giving this such a low score… Hopefully you’ll get more out of it!?

Rating 2/10

RThe Blair Witch Project (1999), REC (2007), Asylum Blackout (2011), Monkey Farm (2017)
L – A-Z of Found Footage, A Brief Introduction to Found Footage

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