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Movie Review- Murder Death Koreatown (2020)- Ghouls on Film

The first found-footage horror film is widely considered to be Ruggero Deodato’s 1980 controversial gore-fest Cannibal Holocaust, which presents itself as the lost final footage of a group of doomed documentarians. The effects were considered so realistic that the director was accused of making a snuff film by Italian authorities and had produce his actors in court to show that they were still alive. This was soon followed by the divisive classic The Blair Witch Project (1999), Paranormal Activity (2007) with its never-ending sequels, and countless others. It’s safe to say that the novelty has long worn off with the oversaturation of the genre.

However, if you dig deep enough, you can still find some gems. Murder Death Koreatown is a very raw one, that the true name of its director is unknown, only going by the moniker ‘K-Anon’. This lesser-known film centres around an anonymous man who launches his own amateur investigation into the recent double-murder of his neighbours, which was based off a real-life crime. However, as he delves deeper into the case, he believes that he has stumbled across a possibly supernatural conspiracy, and his project devolves into a life-consuming obsession.

As ambitious as it is, the film still suffers from the familiar problems of a found-footage film, as the fragmented, shaky first-person camera perspective can be difficult and even disorientating to follow. On the other hand, it helps to deepen the unfolding mystery, adding further doubt to the protagonist’s sanity and draws us further into his uncertain and increasingly paranoid world. Unlike other high-budget Hollywood productions, this one does genuinely feel like found footage. Along with the blending of reality and fiction, it adds to the unsettling factor. It expertly blends the found-footage genre with the ever popular true crime documentary format, offering a subtle indictment of the exploitative nature of both genres, to present a cryptic and creepy film.



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