Friday, July 9, 2010

GP506 (Blu-Ray)

To start, I loved R-Point, the official predecessor to this film and helmed by the same director. It was atmospheric, immeasurably creepy, and gory as hell. On top of all that, the story was compelling, the acting great, and the camera work superb.

As a followup Guard Post (aka GP506) is flawless. It has the same elements that made R-Point so effective and expands upon them. While the story is similar to some degree, GP506 I think has the more compelling one of the two. It helps that it's set against a modern day backdrop, especially now that tensions between the north and south or so high. Painting an effective portrait of how life carries on at the obsolete guard posts that litter the border between the two Koreas.

Concerning a squad of South Korean Army regulars, stationed at a secluded outpost a stone's throw from the Demilitarized Zone. Found slaughtered entirely, with a single insane survivor, a specialist is brought in late at night to determine the cause of the massacre before day breaks. What ensues is a twisted mystery asking more questions than it answers. All the while, the inspector and his men struggle to hold onto their sanity as the bizarre and (literally) gory details slowly come to reveal themselves.

I will say, that going into the film I wasn't really sure of what to expect. It really doesn't cater to any single genre under the horror umbrella. It's not a zombie film, which some have labeled it, nor is it a straight up rampaging virus movie. It has elements of drama, and even comedy strewn amidst the graphic effects. And man are the effects awesome. Make no mistake, this is an icky movie, with tons of blood, brains, bone bits and unsympathetic violence throughout, and the filmwork captures these things awesomely.

Visual quality is impressive. I wouldn't go so far as to call it reference material, but it's definitely high up there. Blacks are deep and there's no blocking whatsoever. Details are exceptionally clear as well, which adds to the effectiveness of the graphic content within the film. Gore looks amazing, as does the effects of the outbreak on the characters within the picture. I'm very pleased with the amount of clarity here, honestly, and it's leaps and bounds better than the pretty decent presentation Tartan gave R-Point on SD DVD.

The audio is also great all across the board. My sound bar was able to show that sound levels were equal, without the annoying tendency a lot of thriller s have to be too quiet then jump to too loud with no in between. As per my typical disclaimer, though, I'm not rocking anything too extravagant with my setup, so generally so long as the mastering is decent I rarely have high complaints.

To avoid any further rambling on my end, I'll simply say that I highly recommend this film... at least for horror fans, especially Korean horror, which I tend to find a bit more intelligent and well crafted than just about anything Hollywood has released in years. There's a lot to like here, but it requires a strong stomach!

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