R Point

In the last days of the Vietnam War a mayday signal is received from a platoon previously sent out to the eponymous non-combat zone to search for lost comrades. Only trouble is, the only surviving member of the platoon is in a hospital bed a gibbering wreck. Now, just what did happen out at R Point?…[cue Twilight Zone tune]

This is the film that the godawful Dog Soldiers thought it was. Except more spooky, than monstery. I’m sure horror officiados would scoff at this, but sod them. In fact this has more of the feel of classic ghost stories like The Turn Of The Screw or in cinema (the recently deceased Robert Wise‘s) The Haunting. More unsettling/chilling than a gorefest. All executed economically and skillfully through use of music (is that the same screaming macaws heard through daytime or the sound of soldiers being ripped apart) and a keen sense of claustrophobia (quite an achievement considering how much takes place out in the open – although that pampas grass can be quite oppressive).

Best of all, there’s no pat exposition. No indian burial ground or “and she was hit by a car in that stretch of road exactly one year ago today…” Apparently everyone had a go at being massacred about R Point, French, Vietnamese, yanks, Koreans… And, where exactly does the girl in the dugout really come into it all?

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Written by Tony Kiernan

13 October 2005 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Film

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