0.0 MHz (2020)

This creepily effective K-horror romp offers a touch of Michael Keaton’s White Noise (ghosts using audio/TV static to contact the living), Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (remember Beatrice Straight’s Dr. Lesh’s team and their electro-gizmos?), and Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (a haunted remote cabin) and is based on the popular Asian web-comic by Jak Jang. K-pop fans will recognize its leads in Jung Eun-ji (the lead singer of the band Apink; You Tube) and Lee Sung-yeol from the boy-band Infinite; You Tube).

Eun-ji stars as So-hee, the daughter of a shaman — and she also possesses the gift of supernatual insight. She’s the newest member of a college-based ghost hunters club “0.0 MHz” run by Sang-Yeob (Lee Sung-yeol). The club takes its name from the radio frequency at which the human brain can make contact with the spirit realm.

Along with three other members (they were 12, but the seniors graduated) they head off for a “fun weekend” to search for a remote rural home rumored as haunted by the spirit of a suicide victim. Of course, with So-hee’s Danny Torrence-like abilities, she already receiving warnings from her late grandmother and a stringy-haired schoolgirl who appears at a general store that they stop at along the way. And they don’t heed the shopkeeper’s warnings about those woods.

And you know the rest of the yūrei story. Yeah, the Shiryō hits the fan. And that ain’t no onryō, nae chingu. Once that meoli yulyeong (hair ghost) tangles into you. . . .

If you’re a fan of the A24 and Blumhouse horror oeuvres and are into flicks like The Conjuring, Annabelle, and the Americanized The Grunge sequels, prequels, sidequels, etc., then there’s something here for the horror hounds. Me, personally: I’ll take a “J” or “K” supernatural original from the East before a knockoff from the West any day of the week.

Is the film as “graphic” as the comic? No (the film’s rated PG-15 in Korea). Because of the film’s connection to the teen-driven K-pop scene, the horror is toned down for that teen audience, so the geistin’ never goes full-blown “Raimi,” but the production design is solid, the cinematography is crisp, and the atmosphere is uber creepy. American reviewers haven’t been kind on this latest Asian horror offering, but it seems they’ve overlooked the K-pop connection and that, while this is now available for the first time in the U.S., 0.0 MHz was never intended for U.S audiences weened in a post-Eli Roth and James Wan world. This is a film about suspense and the psychological over gore. Must everything be guts and gore and “shock scares” to satisfy our horror needs? Can’t we all just enjoy atmosphere and suspense, for once? Then again, the friends I’ve exposed to Ugestu and Kwaidan scoffed at those films. . . .

You can watch 0.0 MHz exclusively through Shudder or through their imprint with Amazon Prime. You can view the English translation of the comic at Manga Eden.

Disclaimer: We weren’t sent a screener for this film. We discovered it all on our own and genuinely enjoyed the movie.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.