Sunday, March 5, 2023

REVIEW: Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (live action movie)

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is a found footage South Korean horror movie. I bought my copy new.


Ha-Joon, the owner of a ghost hunting streaming show, aims to get to a million views by setting up a live broadcast at the abandoned Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital. A team of people (three guys, three girls), each of whom have cameras attached to them, will go in and explore while Ha-Joon holds down the fort at a nearby location, watching the footage and managing the stream.

The show was supposed to be scripted - two (or possibly three? I can't remember) of the guys were in on it, along with Ha-Joon. They planned to genuinely scare the others and use their reactions to increase their show's views and overall popularity. However, it soon becomes apparent that there are things happening in the abandoned facility that are unplanned.

I got this due to several reviews and comments I'd read that said this was a genuinely creepy found footage movie. I hate to say it, really wasn't. There were a few good moments, like the bit where the burner turned on on its own in Ha-Joon's tent, and the part where the girls were desperately trying to leave the facility, but the scares entered "we are not imagining this" territory a bit too quickly and didn't seem to have anything in particular tying them together. Also, I couldn't help but notice that viewers were only ever shown the scariest camera angles, even though there were technically more options available - it ruined the "found footage" immersiveness of it, a bit.

It was decent, I guess, but not something I'm likely to ever want to rewatch, and not even scary enough to be much of a problem for my "horror wimp" self.

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