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The Haunted House Project (2010)

  Tags: Asian Horror, camera point of view, Cheol-ha Lee, Deserted House, ghosts, haunting, Hwa-Jung Lee, In-Kul Jun, korea, korean, Kyung-Sun Shin, mockumentary, So-Yul Shin, Tae-Ho Hyun, The Haunted House Project, Yi-Na Yun

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (4 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Cheol-ha Lee
84 minutes
Kyung-Sun Shin, Yi-Na Yun, In-Kul Jun, Hwa-Jung Lee, Tae-Ho Hyun, So-Yul Shin

Even more than a decade after The Blair Witch Project made the "found footage" sub-genre immensely popular, there are still films out there hoping to copy its success, especially recently with Paranormal Activity, which has sparked interest in the theme once again. Better late than never (in this case never), Korea decides to jump on the bandwagon and release The Haunted House Project (aka Deserted House), which displays edited found footage of a television crew and a few enthusiastic ghost hunters, as they explore a supposedly incredibly haunted home.

Normally I have faith in South Korea's genre efforts, as their horror usually proves to be (at minimum) a decent watch, however this flick showed very little of the quality I'm normally used to coming from the country, as it's very formulaic and offers next-to-nil in terms of creativity or even scares. It's unfortunate since the location itself is actually rather creepy. A majority of the movie simply depicts the crew as they slowly walk around the property and home, exploring and using cheap "ghost hunting equipment" hoping to catch something of the supernatural.

Those expecting much for the first hour-or-so, will be sorely disappointed, as there's really not a whole lot offered. Aside from your standard stuff -- a mirror breaking, strange noises, and camera equipment failing. Of course, given the fact that there's very little lighting, there are a couple somewhat creepy parts, namely one brief scene displaying bright lit eyes from a distance within a dark area of the house. I also enjoyed SOME of the exploring of the home, specifically due to the fact that we're primarily following through the point of view of whoever's holding the camera, so you can sometimes feel a bit submersed in the eerie environment.

As usual with these types of flicks, the action picks up in the last 20-or-so minutes, as we watch these characters run around frantically with (and sometimes without) a camera in-hand. This obviously causes some confusion for the viewer since we're forced to keep up with whatever's happening to these characters. Once the final credits roll you'll feel a little cheated, not just due to the fairly standard climax, but also once you realize how much lost potential the flick had. The location was right, the lighting was right, the characters were decent, but unfortunately that's where it all ended. 

This proved to be a disappointing POV "found footage" flick to come out of South Korea. There was potential, especially with the creepy location, but instead of attempting any creativity, we're given a pretty formulaic storyline and lackluster attempts at scares. All negative aside, the film kept my interest for the most part and I did enjoy some of the exploring of the home. However, unless you're a big fan of the particular sub-genre, I'd advise skipping this.

Posted on February 12, 2011 - 5:01am | FrighT MasteR