Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp (2010)

Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp (aka Gosa 2)
Yoo Sun-dong/Park Ji-yeon/2010
Where to watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...Bloody Camp is a bloody mess."

Years after a student is found dead at a pool, a class of students are selected for a special study camp. As the class begins, the students and available staff are knocked out and awaken to a mysterious question demanding answers...

Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp, known as Gosa 2 elsewhere, follows the same formula as the last. The students, including Lee Se-hee (Park Ji-yeon), the stepsister of the dead student, are forced to answers a question. The questions asks the students to find out who the killer is and why. Some students and faculty will be picked off, and the students will receive clues and chances to live through these deaths. And, as more people die, a mystery unravels – a very predictable mystery. The story is more of the same from the first film, except it is incredibly underwhelming and bland – much more violent, but poorly developed. The film reaches an abrupt conclusion – a very boring ending with little closure, it just kind of ends.

Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp isn't scary. It's a horror film by most standards, but it isn't scary. There are buckets of blood, much more than the first installment, and some violent deaths, but nothing scarring or terrifying. There are some jump-scares, but they are generic and lack suspense. There is nothing scary about this film. Furthermore, the story is a direct copy of the last film, but instead of blending elements of supernatural and slasher films, Bloody Camp plays out like a straight-forward revenge film – I can't go further into detail for the plot because there aren't any more details to explain, the film has no depth. It really never develops an identity or focuses on a character, or focuses at all, it's just a mess.

According to Wikipedia (and its source), Director Yoo Sun-dong wanted to avoid the first films formula where the students must answer questions to survive and save their classmates, which turned out to be a poor mistake. Sun-dong's formula is a copy off the first film's formula regardless, but with less thought; a more probable excuse would be they wanted to cash-in on the first film's idea without developing some complex questions or puzzles for the students. This makes Bloody Camp even more generic, boring, and lifeless – it really is a pointless cash-in. In fact, the writing is so lazy, despite Bloody Camp being an indirect sequel, you HAVE to watch the first film to fully understand the concept.

Park Ji-yeon is good in her role. I can't call her a lead because none of the characters are developed, and the story never focuses. The rest of the cast is decent, nothing spectacular or terrible. The cinematography is okay with decent use of lighting and shadowing, but the film is completely shot in the dark; the lights are off for 75% of the film, and it can be hard to see. I liked some of the somber tones of the soundtrack, but most of the score is generic. Director Yoo Sun-dong fails to develop the characters and story, and he also fails to deliver the scares or even gore.

Overall, Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp is a bloody mess. It has gallons of blood splattering, but it never embraces its gore effects. The story is the same as the last, despite trying to be different; it fails to do so, which makes it look much more lazy and sloppy. It is incredibly disappointing and forgettable. I bought it for less than $4 on Amazon in the U.S. and I kind of regret it...

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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