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‘Project Silence’ Review: A Predictable But Effective Korean Horror Film

‘Project Silence’ Review: A Predictable But Effective Korean Horror Film

Capelight Pictures

The idea of ​​a suspension bridge where cables snapped at the most inopportune moment, covered in fog, and where a major vehicle accident took place, including a vehicle carrying a very mysterious cargo, immediately appealed to me. Project Silence Brings back wonderful memories of Frank Darabont’s nightmare-filled 2007 film Fog. Add in the generally well-thought-out Korean style of presenting the stories and this looked like a great time, and it was. Despite being dragged down by a few ridiculous and silly moments at times, it delivered in a tight hundred minutes.

Project Silence starts off slow but is interesting enough. However, Cha Jeong Won (played by the late Lee Sun-kyun), and his strained relationship with his daughter Cha Kyeong-Min (Kim Su-an) is starting to get a little tiring. Jeong Won is a presidential candidate’s top aide and is quite ruthless in getting things done for his boss. To that end, he sends his daughter abroad to study, partly so he can focus on work but mostly because he’s not a great father. Their trip to the airport ends abruptly when a multi-car accident occurs on the bridge leading to the airport, which is the least of their worries.

Also on the bridge is a secret cargo vehicle carrying a group of super dogs created by a shadowy government agency. They are released in the crash and combined with fires, toxic gas leaks, a damaged bridge and very thick fog, they create a very tense situation for everyone on the bridge. This is when the film is at its best, because there is a sense of dread in the air and the fear of the unknown grips everyone. The dogs, already scared and confused, soon make their way to the survivors and the cat-and-mouse game of survival begins.

Joining the father-daughter duo are Project Silence’s chief research scientist, Dr. Yang (Kim Hee-won); Joe Park (Ju Ji-hoon), a tow truck driver with an odd father-daughter connection; and Yoo-Ra (Park Hyun), an attitude-loving young golfer, and her bumbling manager, Mi-Ran (Park Hee-von). It’s quite the eclectic group.

The eerie fog-covered bridge is a great setting, creating a quiet anxiety that hangs over everyone’s heads after the crash. The super-aggressive CGI modified dogs are a great touch at times. They act like sharks, darting in and out of the fog and darkness, hard to see until it’s too late, and they systematically attack. Some of the CGI is pretty obvious at times, but the dark, foggy set helps to cover up most of the problems.

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Director and co-writer Tae-gon Kim struggles to blend the horror and humor at times, and when he does, the story or plot feels pretty dull. It still has a great sense of action and timing, as many of the more tense scenes are pretty convincing, and a few are very well done. The film does get a bit tedious at times, as mentioned. There are a few characters that need to be included in the story in some way, but overall it moves at a good pace. The action scenes feel chaotic in the best possible way. The silliness of some scenes and the funny moments/one-liners from certain characters can feel forced at times, but at other times, especially during high-stress moments, they feel genuine.

The father-daughter dynamic has become all too familiar, but the actors do a good job of selling the struggle to the audience and with it, making the final act that much more believable. Special thanks to cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo, who turned the dark and gloomy bridge scenes into a beautiful nightmare to behold and made the final scenes in daylight look even brighter in comparison.

After watching Project SilenceI had a hard time understanding the genre. It straddles the line between action, horror, thriller, and disaster movies. The movie does a good job of balancing all of these genres, but it does have a bit of an identity crisis at times as it gets closer to the end of the story. To that end, it’s pretty predictable, but very entertaining along the way.