The film became a hit in South Korea. Collected at the box office 21 million dollars, with a budget of $ 2.2 million. Takes 3rd place in the top popularity in the country in the horror genre.
The beginning of the story is promising: two teenagers shoot a video while in one of the most creepy places in the country – an abandoned psychiatric hospital Kongyam. According to rumors, the chief doctor killed all the patients, then disappeared (according to another version, she hanged herself). The former mental hospital is believed by many Koreans to be haunted.
Leading the narration on camera, teenagers are trying to open a tightly boarded-up ward 402, which no one has been since the closing of the institution. The camera captures a scary ghostly face on the door, and the sound of a ping-pong ball is heard somewhere nearby. This ends the recording. No one else saw the filming people.
The host of the YouTube channel Horror Times, who saw the news of their disappearance, decides to investigate the building with the team and conduct a live broadcast at this time. The date is October 26, the day the head physician disappeared and 42 patients were killed in 1979.
Further in the cafe, the guys meet: Ji Hyun, Ha Jun, Song Hoon, Seung Wook and girls: Ah Yeon, Charlotte Mon, Jae Yoon. They assign roles and decide to sneak into the abandoned at night.
Putting up a tent hiding from the guards, three guys and girls make their way through the forest to the hospital. Ha Joon stays in the tent, works as a coordinator and main host.
Participants are divided into pairs and report each in their locations. The first inspection of the premises does not give results on the detection of paranormal activity. The guys, at the behest of the leader, conduct a series of rituals and strange things begin to happen. At first we see that it was a production of the participants themselves, to raise the rating of the broadcast, but then they realize that they are not alone there. The inscription on the wall changes, the doll moves by itself, bloggers are attacked by an unknown force.
Charlotte, played by Moon Ye-won, and Jae-yoon (Yoo Jae-yoon) decide to leave the hospital grounds. But, they were never destined to get home.
Further events continue to develop rapidly. The ceiling in the corridor collapses, Seung Wook lies unconscious. His friend tries to help, but he is blocked. The guys realized that all this is not a joke and want to finish the performance. Ha Joon (Vee Ha Joon) is furious that they will lose the money they planned to make from advertising. The host agrees to increase the fee to the participants and sends them to open the sinister room 402.
The remaining trinity conducts a live broadcast near the closed mysterious chamber. Suddenly, the lights go out, and when they appear, Ah Yeon (played by Oh Ah-young), Seongk-hoon (Park Sung-hoon), and Ji-hyun (Park Ji-hyun) find themselves inside a room surrounded by ghosts. The coordinator, who finally lost control of the situation, was strangled by a dead girl. No one managed to get the money they earned and save their lives.
About the movie
The original film is called Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum). The screenwriter Jung Beom-shik tried to present the pseudo-documentary genre (mockumentary) in all its glory. The film turned out to be truly terrible. The cloudless playful atmosphere of the first half of the story is replaced by chilling scenes and the despair of the characters. The work of the operators and the director is amazing with the staging of each scene.
The locations turned out to be believable and atmospheric, although the shooting was carried out not on the territory of a mental hospital, but in the Busan Maritime High School.
The Konjiam hospital is a real-life facility, officially closed due to economic problems and unsanitary conditions. Its owner went abroad, not mysteriously disappeared. The building was subsequently demolished.
Characteristics of heroes
The main characters are fans of tickling their nerves, they shoot stories on paranormal topics. They are characterized by a thirst for money and fame, like many video bloggers. Guys and girls are skeptical, even arrange fake rituals at first to increase the interest of the audience.
The guys until the last can not refuse to stream, because they scored half a million views. When frightening events begin to occur around, it becomes too late to run away. The heroes of the film find their death instead of a fee.
The actors who played the characters accurately convey emotions, looking at their work, you can experience complete immersion in the narrative of the picture.
The story is fairly predictable, but that doesn’t stop the film from being quite successful in its genre. The Koreans managed to shoot a really frightening and atmospheric story. The soundtrack and the acting of the actors deserves a high rating, despite the hackneyed pseudo-documentaryism.