Asian Found Footage Borefest

Asian horror has produced many underground gems over the past two decades. Sadly, director Koji Shiraishi’s A Record of Sweet Murder isn’t one of them. Director of such horror movies as Grotesque, The Slit-Mouthed Woman, and Sedako Vs. Kayako takes a flimsy premise that shouldn’t have needed more than thirty minutes, and turns it into a poor feature-length effort.

Released in the flotsam of over-done found-footage horror, A Record Of Sweet Murder makes the one deadly mistake in cinematic entertainment. A Record of Sweet Murder becomes a tedious chore to sit through for long stretches. By the time something interesting does happen, deep into the movie, most audiences will have already checked out.

A Korean journalist and a Japanese cameraman in South Korea are cajoled by a psychotic murderer to an abandoned apartment for an interview. Kim Soyeon (Korean actress Kkobbi Kim) takes the meeting only because she personally knew Park Sangjoon (Je-wook Yeon) as childhood friends and can’t believe he’s capable of these atrocities. This won’t be the only time that A Record of Sweet Murder tests the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief.

…its lackluster and dull villain is anathema to good horror

Widely believed to have killed 18 people, the murderer Sangjoon confesses to even more murders after taking Soyeon and her cameraman hostage. An escaped mental patient, Sangjoon claims he hears the voice of God instructing him to kill 27 people. He believes if he finishes the divine mission, their dead childhood friend will be resurrected and everything will turn out okay.

Okay, it’s not the stuff of legend but the premise may have turned out entertaining with more interesting characters. Soyeon serves as little more than hostage in the script, barely contributing anything beyond whimpering and cowering in fear. But what proves most boring and repetitive is the one-note Sangjoon, a homicidal lunatic that screams at Soyeon for most of the movie. Its lackluster and dull villain is anathema to good horror.

The only real thing of interest is a Japanese couple abducted by Sangjoon, who may prove even more twisted than the killer. The problem here is that they feel like they’ve walked in from a completely different movie. The Japanese couple were clearly added as exploitation elements, which does work to some degree.

A thin premise with poor dialogue and any number of hackneyed cliches often found in Asian horror, A Record of Sweet Murder is one skippable found-footage import.

Video

The 2014 Nikkatsu production resembles many others of its ilk in the found-footage genre. A Record Of Sweet Murder is definitely a movie fit for Blu-ray with its stark digital pedigree. The 1.78:1 presentation offers crisp 1080P video when the camera isn’t going all over the place.

As the inside of an abandoned apartment building serves as the primary setting, this isn’t picturesque scenery. There’s real pop and impressive definition in the opening exterior scenes. But the plot largely takes place inside, hampering contrast and limiting dimensionality.

Unearthed Films delivers a technically perfect Blu-ray presentation that captures A Record of Sweet Murder in complete faithfulness to its digital filmmaking roots. The 85-minute main feature gets encoded in artifact-free AVC on a BD-25.

Audio

The Korean and Japanese language soundtrack comes in adequate 2.0 PCM. Outside of a few active scenes, the movie is largely driven by dialogue in clean fidelity. The fairly low-budget production offers a serviceable soundstage with decent immersion for a stereo mix.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font.

Extras

Unearthed Films provides the movie’s trailer and a few more from their catalog. There are no other special features.

A Record of Sweet Murder Trailer (01:05 in HD)

Trailers100 Tears, Brutal, Collar, DIS, House of Forbidden Secrets, Night Wish, and The Song Of Solomon.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

A Record Of Sweet Murder
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Tedious found-footage horror from the east with repetitive dialogue and flimsy plotting.

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