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Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum

2018 / 95m - South Korea
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum poster

South-Korea does found footage meets haunted asylum. That means you'll be seeing a film that isn't even trying to win any prizes for originality, but as we're dealing with a core genre film that's hardly a surprise. The real question is whether the execution is on point, and luckily the film delivers.

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Horror Times is an up and coming web series that wants to make it big. After finding a CNN article on the most haunted places in the world, they decide to visit the South-Korean entry on the list. It's the Gonjiam asylum, built during the 50s and completely abandoned 30 years later.

The setup's a bit long, but once the crew arrives at their destination things quickly heat up, with a good pay-off at the end. There's nothing here you haven't seen before, but the haunts are pretty creepy, the camera tricks are nifty and the performances are solid. Fine horror filler is always welcome.


2007 / 98m - South Korea
Horror, Drama
Epitaph poster

A South-Korean horror flick that stands out because of its willfully confusing plot. It's as if Jung took three shorts from an anthology and mixed them all together, without worrying too much about focus or coherence. It's a good thing the horror scenes are well executed, otherwise this would've been quite the disaster.

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The setting is 1941, a South-Korean hospital. Three largely unrelated events happen in the span of a year, all hinting at the existence of ghosts (or human souls, if you will). A girl is wedded to a student, a young girl is brought into the hospital after a car accident and a doctor returns after his visit to Japan.

The film offers a typical South-Korean mix of drama and horror. The build-up is pretty solid, the execution of the horror scenes is stylish and the film forces you to keep paying attention to what's going on. Ultimately though, a confusing plot isn't enough to make this a great film. Good and solid genre filler, nothing more.