Let’s play with sound (not really).
0.0 MHz is a recent horror offering from Korea where we follow college students who are part of a club that investigates ghosts. The name of the club is 0.0 MHz, the frequency to call ghosts, which does have some lore linkage to Asian ghosts (as silence allows them to come). The group travels to a haunted location to do experiments, and everything goes south, including the film.
Just a note: anything with sound or the frequency of ghosts is dropped immediately once we get to the haunted site. I had forgotten about this aspect of the movie before writing this review.
We follow five (why is it always five?) young adults who don’t seem to have much in common as they are going to do this investigation. We have the nervous new guy, the gal who dresses provocatively, the annoying guy, the cool guy, and the gal with the emotional range of a brick. Unfortunately for us, the brick is the main character.
The movie has an odd division of the characters stating they do not believe in ghosts while also making sure that the rituals are done correctly to call the ghost. It seems their main goal is just to make money on the videos they shoot, so it seems odd for them to have this division of seriousness and mocking.
Obviously, the ghost does appear, and things go south. The CGI is subpar for even the horror genre and we get lots and lots of hair all over the screen. What the ghost is after isn’t clear, but who cares, right? This is just a jumpscare factory.
To be fair, the film does a couple of things right. There are about five minutes of film that will remind you of Evil Dead or other better movies. Yeah, that one was a back handed compliment… One thing the film does right is that the group actually flees the cabin. Instead of just hanging out until they are all killed, they get in their car and bail.
Unfortunately, this clever mid-point-turn doesn’t forecast a strong second half of the film. While the first half is derivative and boring, the second half is a complete disaster. We are introduced to the idea that each (or most) of the people in the group are harboring extreme guilt, which the ghost uses against them. We don’t ever get much information about what is causing this guilt as none of the characters can communicate. The failure of storytelling via characters who simply can’t say anything relevant to one another is simply infuriating. This is a pathetic trend in horror that needs to be taken out back and shot.
A narrative that relies on sheer stupidity of the cast is an insult to the viewer and a complete thrashing of the concept of storytelling. I hate this trope more than any other in the horror genre. What makes this film particularly bad is that our protagonist is the most emotionless character (until she suddenly isn’t for like three minutes) I’ve seen in a fully budgeted horror film in years.
The story is made up on the fly in this one. This is an absolute mess of bad writing, acting, effects, and just about everything else you can think of. Possibly the worst horror film of the year.