Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum – movie review

A group of volunteers enter a famous abandoned mental asylum live online as they attempt to enter the most haunted room and uncover it’s secrets. Jeong Beom-sik

At the start of the movie we are met with the crew. Three women and four men, one of which is the owner of “Horror times” and the person that will be in charge of livestreaming the entire event. We get to know them a bit as they bond and prepare for their trip to the asylum. We also get to know about the asylum itself. Apparently the asylum is one of the seven “freakiest” places on earth and used to hold political prisoners and mentally ill patients, the latter of whom were tortured and experimented on by the director eventually shutting down in the 1970s.

Ha-Joon (owner of Horror times) gets together a group of six people: three girls; Ah-Yeon, Charlotte, a Korean-American and Ji-Hyun, and three boys; Sung-Hoon, Seung-Wook and Je-Yoon with the idea of doing live broadcast of their exploration of the hospital with a goal of reaching one million viewers. The group travels to the hospital and sets up their equipment. Ha-Joon stays at their base camp off the road to control the broadcast. The group begin their exploration and surely enough odd things start to happen.

The plot is nothing special, a pretty common plot line you would expect in found footage horror films like this. The only difference would be how the footage was filmed. With technology constantly evolving we saw a new way of filming the event in the movie which added to the flavor of it. I am a huge fan of found footage horror films even though I know most of the community dislikes them but this was not one of my favorites even though I expected it to be. The atmosphere was eerie and unsettling yes, the acting was decent (I did not know much about the cast but they did an okay job) and the added high tech cameras as i mentioned before did add some flavor to the movie but it was still not enough. I enjoyed the movie and do not regret watching it in any way but my issue is that I have found more enjoyment in YouTube amateur found footage films. It had a lot of potential but it failed to explore it.

Final verdict: 6/10


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