Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Haunted House Project | 폐가 [ Movie Review ] **

Blair Witch Project ~ Kimchi Style
The Haunted "Insert you choice of residence" movie is a popular horror film choice. Especially in Asia film industry where you can easily find a handful movies that use their location as the horror device. Needless to say, it's already a very overdone horror genre. In order to "differentiate " itself from it's Asian peers, The Haunted House Project took the Blair Witch Project way.

Ironically it does not "differentiate" itself too much from the Shaky Cam genre that The Blair Witch Project had established many many years ago.

Like many Shaky Cam horror genre, there will the initial setup of how a tape was found from a haunted venue and we are viewing what had happened horribly to some folks with a videocam. In The Haunted House Project, we get a group of six (a producer, a cameraman, a sound woman and three members from a Korean paranormal online club) investigating the haunting of one infamous location.

Rumor has it that this haunted premise has a horrible past. A successful businessman was caught having affair and it was said that the wife killed her husband lover. Dumping her in a pool nearby their factory, the ghost of the lover came back to massacre the couple and their kids. Ever since then, residents had reported weird sightings at that location. Authorities tried unsuccessfully to clear the pool. The place remained unsold and avoided until this group of six decided to venture in for some spooky adventure.

The problem with this type of shaky cam horror movies would be that it has a very rigid structure to follow and it can get rather boring (not to mention un-cinematic to watch) if you have your fair share of shaky cam horror movies. Since we are watching a tape that found at the haunted house, it's quite obvious that no one will be making it out alive. The victims can't die too soon as the panic mode (or I call it the shaky ground / feet shots) will occur and viewers won't be able to see much. Therefore we get the introduction, the exploration and the occasion spooks (which would not result in any fatality) to fill up the bulk of the movie.

Another problem with a Shaky Cam film would be the aspect of incorporating realism of an actual documentary filming gone bad. It made a mistake of adding mosaic effects to cover up possibly  objectionable images. Now while you can do it with a editing software, I am pretty sure that up to today, there isn't one videocam that could mosaic certain portion of the film so nicely (as it did in the film).

But then again, it's not that bad. The "scare a min" tactic in this film was quite well done and timed to get the maximum spook from audience. The comeuppance for this intruders were fun to watch but it's too late and too short to make it more enjoyable. There were also a few eye candies in the cast that helped make following the major bulk of this movie less dreadful.

Perhaps it's a personal dislike for this type of movies making. Using realism as an excuse, it's a cheap way of making money. Just find a remote location, a bunch of unknown actors and some camera tricks, you get a cheaply made horror flick that could rake in lots of money. In today's youtube generation that are accustom to such video would probably have no problem with it or even embrace it. There will also be fans of horror genre and this type of filming that have no problems lapping this up. For me, the novelty factor of Shaky Cam had worn off since the Blair Witch Project and REC and should be put to rest soon (that is unless they managed to find some ways to break this mold).

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