Bakjwi (Thirst) 2009

Thirst (Bakjwi 2009)

What better way to celebrate Halloween then watching Park Chan-wook’s new film Bakjwi (Thirst)? To do the film any real justice I would probably have to watch it a number of times.

Thirst is a beautiful film that will offer a certain level of familiarity to Chan-wook fans. With the subtle, dark humor that was apparent in Old Boy and the dark beauty found in films like Lady Vengeance. The story is unsettling and the narrative is schizophrenic and occasionally confusing.

There are moments of intense violence, sensuality, humor. It’s an emotional experience. Song Kang-ho turns in a wonderful performance as a conflicted vampire priest suffering and embracing a slip into the dark side. He offers the perfect balance of comedic timing (as seen in The Host) and deep sadness. Kim Ok-vin is terrifying as she passes from innocent hard done by wife to psychotic and savage hunter.

I think fans of Chan-wook will love this more mature, more complex entry into his filmography. The rest of the world may miss the point.

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