0.0 Mhz can be summed up in a single word. Safe. It’s SAFE and inoffensive. A horror movie for teenagers. A by-the-numbers story that brings nothing new to the table while simultaneously managing to tick a whole bushel of horror cliches, and showcasing some seriously shonky VFX that make it feel like a made-for-TV special.
The film opens with an exorcism gone wrong to set the stage, then cuts to our main characters – a group of wannabe ghost-hunting students who decide that their club, 0.0 Mhz, will go and attempt to communicate with the ghost that occupies the house we saw in the opening sequence. The conceit here is that 0.0 Mhz is the frequency at which the human brain is able to communicate with ghosts.
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What does this mean for the plot? Absolutely nothing, really. People go to sleep, their brainwaves reach 0.0 Mhz and ghosts show up. Or specifically one ghost shows up and takes control of the hapless test subject Yoon-Jung. It’s a big, mean, angry, strangely hairy ghost that might be terrifying if the visual effects weren’t so terrible. As the bodies mount, our “heroes” must attempt to free their friend from the ghost’s possession before it ends up costing them all their lives.
And that’s it, that’s the plot and that’s a shame as this film is based on a well respected webcomic of the same name, which has a truly distinctive art style and some disturbingly visceral visuals. None of that charm or dread is captured here in a film that feels like it’s just going through the motions. 0.0Mhz commits a lot of horror movie sins during its 100 minute runtime. Jump scares with unnecessarily loud noises to make the audience flinch? Check. Character who sees dead people? Check. Unlikeable main characters? Check, Check, CHECK.
And that is the single biggest sin this film commits. No reason is given to connect with these characters or care about their fate. Part of that is down to the writing, with paper thin characterisation given to each. So-Hee is the brooding one. Sang-Yeob is the clumsy, nervous one. Yoon-Jung is the tomboy. Han-Seok is the aggressive asshole. Tae-Soo is the leader. That’s the extent of what we learn about them.
Only So-Hee and Sang-Yeob get any more detail than that, but the problem there is that neither of them are particularly compelling actors. Both So-Hee and Sang-Yeob are played by K-Pop stars attempting to make their break into cinema and if this is what they bring to the table then, well, maybe stick with the pop music, folks. Choi Yoon-Young is really the only saving grace of this film, playing the possessed Yoon-Jung. She really does manage to sell it, providing a few creepy moments and some impressive physicality as she flails about in the throes of ghostly possession.
0.0Mhz is boring. Mediocre. Mundane. A flat story with flat characters, relying on jumpscares and shakycam to try and frighten the audience. The Shudder Original releases have been a distinctly mixed bag so far, and while they have brought us superlatively good movies like Revenge, this one is a forgettable dud.
0.0 Mhz premieres on Shudder on 23rd April.