REVIEW: 0.0 Mhz is Fun Horror Night Pick

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0.0Mhz

You can’t beat a good ghost story and that’s what we get in the newest Shudder Original 0.0Mhz, directed by Sun-Dong Yoo. This Korean horror film, based on a webtoon of the same name, follows members of a paranormal exploration club as they travel to an abandoned house in the remote town of Uha-ri to prove the existence of a ghost using radio frequency-based technology. Utilizing some all the tropes in haunted house investigation team toolkit, 0.0Mhz brings the spooky, the fun, and the violent when the young students unwittingly become the ghost’s host. Over the course of the film, the paranormal team uses a ritual to uncover the ghost residing in the haunted abandoned home all while one of their members, So-Hee, (Jung Eun-ji ) is painfully too aware of the spirit inside.

This film isn’t trying to be a large critique of culture nor is it trying to break a horror mold. Instead, 0.0Mhz aims to be a damn good ghost story and with it’s not really explained science and possession it accomplishes what it sets out to do. It’s creepy, it’s fun, and it serves as a great horror night watch. Now, the characters aren’t entirely complex, with each one of them fitting into archetypes that horror fans know and love, down to the final girl of sorts. That said, what each of them goes through as the night devolves is enough to keep you wholly entertained and rooting for them for the entire length of the film.

Driven by their curiosity, the viewer understands why the paranormal team is excited. When the ghost begins to come into play, there are moments of CG that are interesting, to say the least, and slightly distracting to say the most. That said, the film has enough Evil Dead vibes to pull fans through some of the weirder CG moments like when Yoon-Jung (Choi Yoon-Young) is being encased by wrapping tendrils of hair while being hidden underneath the house.

The most compelling part of the film is what happens when the students leave the house and how they carry the event with them. This element adds some depth to the film beyond a haunted house and heightens the tension. We all know a ghost is going to show up when the characters are in a creepy house, but move them into the world that’s supposed to be safe and your mind starts really at every pause and every time a character looks in the mirror. 0.0Mhz does a great job of spreading out its scares and building up to them across the entire length of the hour and 41-minute film that you’re always waiting for more, with the scares waiting just under the surface of the scene.

But beyond that, the unclear nature of the ghost is what keeps mystery building as 0.0Mhz goes on, making it become a stronger film by the time we reach the end that it was in the beginning. By grounding the film in possession in two different forms, it allows the main actresses Choi and Jung to stretch their acting muscle in intense exorcism moments, that you have to see to believe. I’m always a fan of possession films, especially those that show the process of exercising the spirits in detail. Plus, knowing the intense physicality of the exorcism scene for the actresses not only intensified the moment but made it shine.

0.0Mhz

0.0Mhz is a fun blend of traditional Asian horror and more familiar formulaic ghost hunter dynamics that Americans are used to in films that come out Stateside. The depictions of ghosts, like the Hair Ghost and the body contortion of the possessed, are typical of what we see in Korean horror cinema, the overall concept feels tied to the stories that American horror fans love to watch in the theaters. It’s simple, a group of young college students traveling to the middle of nowhere, awakening an evil ghost, and having to fight for their lives to vanquish the spirit is a familiar tale, but one that 0.0Mhz does in a stylistic way that utilizing different camera perspectives and sharp pops of color in muted scenes.

This is ultimately why 0.0Mhz works extremely well. Horror is built on the fears of the cultures that it is made in, this means that sometimes there are nuances in scares and delivery that doesn’t always translate to different cultural audiences. While this has never been a gap for me to jump over, it is something folks who are just dipping their toes into horror may see as an obstacle as they look for the right film to begin expanding their horror film library. In that way, 0.0Mhz is a near-perfect entry point for those new to the genre as a whole or those new to foreign films.

Overall, 0.0Mhz is the perfect film to watch for a movie night. It’s fun, accessible, and a spooky experience from start to finish. If you’re still letting that one-inch barrier of subtitles keep you from exploring foreign films, now is the time to jump in.

0.0Mhz is now streaming exclusively on Shudder.

0.0Mhz
8.5/10

TL;DR

0.0Mhz is the perfect film to watch for a movie night. It’s fun, accessible, and a spooky experience from start to finish. If you’re still letting that one-inch barrier of subtitles keep you from exploring foreign films, now is the time to jump in.