Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum ★★★½

The Korean film-form changing horror venture - into the woods and a building made from bricks of bat-shit crazy - is found-footage reinvented (if such a "thing" can indeed be done). For you see, the last time a film made this pilgrim turn to look over the shoulder while watching a film was in grade six ("Evil Dead, 1981" by Sam Raimi and Fede Álvarez who went all guns blazing, for the times) and I've watched quite a bit (of some genuinely nasty shit) since. From the intricate, loving calculated whispers and shadows of "A Tale of Two Sisters, 2003", directed by the fine autere himself; Kim Jee-woon to the the bracelet of Samri, the dance and moan folk-horror; "The Wailing, 2016" by Na Hong-jin, another force to reckon with. "The Wailing" is simply unique in its proposition and also the cult disposition.

This time again filmmaker Jung Bum-shik splits the genre open and performs lobotomy. It starts off resounding similarly titled films, 'a haunted facility for the mentally challenged', and yet the (not at all) good doctor went ahead and... Well, she did what she did and decades later a bunch of filmmakers go inside and broadcast the whole thing live and with an overkill of German Expressionism, which, it turns out, works for the horror in "Gonjiam". Rare horror, so much so that it takes the infamous and rapscallion "Room 237" head on and elaborates on that one idea, to death.

I was genuinely scared and it could be the cold.
No, I was definitely lingering on hysterical as pangs of terror went off like firecrackers in my chest. The spine? It's growing.

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