The Wailing (2016)

Unfortunately, it is a rare pleasure to encounter a horror film which is actually frightening.

It takes a highly skilful balancing act to present supernatural elements in a form which resonate with an audience. Considering the huge array of material released as horror since film production began, we can confidently say that very few directors have managed this challenge successfully. For this reason, decade after decade, the same film titles dominate best ever lists.

Thankfully, we can now include The Wailing on those lists.

Na Hong-jin’s mosaic narrative ratchets up the suspician, distrust and confusion amongst villagers beset by an indecipherable malevolent presence. A fascinating blend of modern times and ancient Korean mythology, The Wailing thrills and confounds. You will be left not only needing a change of underwear, but also a little more enlightened to age-old Asian sorcery.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is horror done right!

Wonderful Cinema strongly recommends you do not ruin the impact the director meticulously planned for viewers by watching trailers or reading spoilers. But for those of you who cannot resist…

You can find more information on this South Korean film on WikipediaIMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

Production Details

Title: Gok-seong aka The Wailing

Director: Na Hong-jin

Year/Country: 2016, South Korea

Stars: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee (click here for full cast)

Screenplay: Na Hong-jin

Cinematography: Hong Kyung-pyo

Editing: Kim Sun-min

Score: Jang Young-gyu

Languages: Korean, Japanese


  1. If a scary movie gets at all cheesy or absurd, I’m done with it.
    And actually, I try to be trailer-free for all movies these days.

    1. Hi Jay! I hear you about the trailers. I never watch them. But I include them because most people still watch them and I’d rather they did that on my site than head somewhere else.

  2. Thanks, Shimky. I missed this one along the way. It is now on my wish list, based on your recommendation. (I didn’t watch the trailer…)
    Two direct hits so far. Keep up the good work!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I actually wrote this down on my to watch list just a few hours ago. Must be a sign!

    1. …and I saw you writing it down in a dream I had! So it’s actually you I should thank for helping me write the review. 🙂

  4. S Shimky mad rabitto in D housssssE!!!! Good one, I want a sorcerer dancing like that for my nephew’s 9th birthday, je je je. Your suspician words reminded of Sang-il Lee’s Ikari (Rage), 2016; it is not horror but rabits also like hamburgers, do they not?!!!! Ahí te salu2 {bending to touch my toes… ahhggrh it’s impossible} XD

    1. Ah, my old friend, Max the Muffin! How are you, dear boy!
      Thanks for the tip. I still haven’t seen your other tips, like Naked Island, Woman of the Dunes, or Visitor Q – which I’ve actually had a copy of for a long time now.
      Now I know what to do with this weekend!

    1. So true, da-AL! The greater the fantasy, the more you can distance yourself from the narravite. Whereas, a film like Eden Lake (2008) is terrifying because you know there are scum like that alive and well on the streets of your town or close by.

  5. Wow, incredible weblog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The whole look of your web site is fantastic, as smartly as the content!

    1. Many thanks, Alex! I’ve been doing it for 6 years now, on and off. I just changed the look of the site recently. It was very difficult to learn how to express myself at the beginning but it’s become easier the more I’ve practised.

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