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Film Review: Don’t Click (Mi-hwak-in-dong-yeong-sang) (2012)

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SYNOPSIS:

You better not click if you want to survive.

REVIEW:          

From the director Tae-kyeong Kim (Dead Friend, Muoi: Legend of the Portrait) comes an unbalanced and unimaginative techno horror. It tried to cash in on the Ringu inspired viral curse trend but fails to deliver on the scare and the story department.

At the centre of this mess is Jeong-mi (Byeol Kang); a high school student living with her older sister Se-hee (Park Bo-Young).  When Jeong-mi gets wind of a supposedly cursed video making its way around online forums, she asks Se-hee’s tech savvy ex-boyfriend Joon-hyeok (Joo won) to help him download the video, promising to help him get back to her sister’s good graces in return. Joon-hyeok indeed delivers, but rather than receiving just one video Jeong-me receives a collection of small clips that change content after every watch. After watching the videos, Jeong-me, Se-hee and Jeong-mi’s friend start feeling haunted by an unseen presence and it is not long until the unfortunate friend dies in mysterious circumstances. The sister’s lives spiral down further into paranoia as unexplained phenomenon starts to infiltrate their lives further and further. Can they find a cure for the curse before it gets them?  You have to watch Don’t Click to find out…

Or not. I can save you the trouble and tell you that they do but, to no avail. They both still end up dead/or crazy.  I really would not want to put anyone else through the hour and a half of absolute mind-numbing utter stupidity this film has to offer. Nothing about Don’t Click really works. The plot meanders in a way that does not only suck any kind of suspense out of the story, but also makes it annoyingly difficult to follow. It is not because it so full of amazing twist and turns but because most of it just does not make any kind of solid sense. And yes, I am aware we are talking about a story involving an online curse, but even that needs to have some inner logic.

The curse that supposedly gets anyone who is unfortunate enough to watch one of these god-awful videos, does not seem to follow a cohesive timeline or a manner of execution. Some of its victims die almost instantly, some are first driven insane over a rather lengthy period of time, and some don’t seem to suffer any side effects from its deadly influence until much, much later on, leaving many unanswered questions about the curse’s methodology. There is also the fact that this curse simultaneously manifests itself as some kind of visual stalker, watching its victims through webcams, phone cameras and surveillance equipment, as well as appearing to them as ghostly apparitions, making the whole thing a confusing concoction of ideas that don’t properly relate to each other. It makes for an incredibly frustrating viewing that definitely does not help to hold anyone’s attention.

The special effects are not the greatest either and the video clips that are supposed to be oh-so-terrifying look more like artsy student projects, failing to conjure up any feelings of terror. The scares are predictable and often poorly timed, unlikely to make even the jumpiest viewers jump. In grand scheme of things, poor quality special effects can always be forgiven if the rest of the film is solidly executed. If the plot of well-crafted and atmosphere well set, couple of cheesy effects will not bother anyone. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Don’t Click as the plot and atmosphere are two of its biggest downfalls, and thus we simply have a film that is badly executed in pretty much any aspect that matters.

For this type of storyline to work, there needs to be a certain set of rules that the curse follows, otherwise the whole thing just falls apart. Ringu has its seven days of terror and forces behind the curse in Ju-On’s act in consistent manner, always getting their victim in the end. This is an integral part of this type of horror story and without it the story will lack all the elements that actually make it suspenseful and scary. Don’t Click fails in this task magnificently and as a result we have one of the poorest examples of the techno-horror boom. So unless you are looking for something to put you to sleep (it did that for me no less than 3 times), I would stay away from this one.

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