July, 1971, somewhere deep in the Vietnamese countryside. Of the 18 U.S.-allied Korean soldiers sent into the area designated Romeo Point on a scouting mission, only one, struck blind and traumatized, survives. Six months later, however, the voices of the missing unit have been mysteriously picked up by the intelligence service’s radios. Another team, this time eight men, is likewise sent to the ominous R-Point, around which certain uncomfortable rumours seem to circulate. At the head of the team is Choi Tae-in, himself also the sole survivor of another battle. Guilt, and a deeper, murkier sense of unease, quietly plague Choi as he and his troops pass the stone that marks the entrance to R-Point—the point of no return. The stone reads, "He who sheds others’ blood will not return, not even his soul." The skies darken as the men move toward the desolate, abandoned temple that they believe will provide them with shelter…
The war movie and horror film are two genres that are rarely fused together, perhaps because the heat of battle and the civilian’s aftermath offer so much all-too-real horror as it is. But R-Point explores a different kind of wartime fear, one no amount of bullets, bravado or disciplined tactics can confront. There are no Viet Cong, no snipers or booby traps in this godforsaken corner of the jungle—the menace here has no name. A veteran (in every sense) screenwriter, Kong Su-chang hasn’t simply fashioned a supernatural thriller in a wartime setting. R-Point is in fact a reflection on the role of the Korean soldiers in the Vietnam war—lonely, expandable, now largely forgotten and deeply unsure of their very purpose for being there in the first place. As Kong himself makes clear, it’s a reflection that holds up today, a ghost that cannot be dispelled as a new generation of Koreans are deployed in Iraq.
Director: Kong Su-chang
Screenplay: Kong Su-chang
Cast: Kam Woo-sung, Sohn Byung-ho, Oh Tae-kyung, Park Won-sang
Producers: Choi Kang-hyuk