Park is well-known for “The Vengeance Trilogy”, i.e. the brilliant Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), the wonderful Oldboy (2003) and the average Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005). J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000) is also meant to be very good but we can’t offer our opinion on that one yet.
We’ve seen other examples of splendid South Korea cinema. Memories of Murder (2003) and The Chaser (2008) are excellent crime thrillers. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) is a very good horror. 3-Iron (2004) is a very strong crime romance, and The Brotherhood of War (2004) is a great war movie.
A Bittersweet Life (2005) and I Saw the Devil (2010) are also very popular among crime thriller fans although we found the former a bit too John Woo and the latter a bit too contrived. Both are definitely worth a watch, though; they’re good – just not excellent.
So, on to Park Chan-wook’s highly entertaining Thirst…
This film has a bit of everything: action, romance, fantasy, black humour, thrills, violence and highly erotic love scenes. It’s a great story with great acting and, as you’d expect from a foreign film, an original take on an old theme. Which theme? Well… it’s a horror thriller but we won’t give away any more spoilers than that! Just trust us: avoid the trailer, grab a copy and watch it. Just be warned: this ain’t a film for the squeamish!
Like we always recommend: don’t ruin surprises by reading spoilers or watching trailers. This one gives away all the film’s main themes and story lines:
Title: Bakjwi (2009)
Direction: Park Chan-wook
Screenplay: Park Chan-wook, Jeong Seo-Kyeong
Cinematography: Chung-hoon Chung
Editing: Kim Sang-beom, Kim Jae-beom
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun
…………………COMMENTS LEFT BY READERS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS