2009 – Director Chan-Wook Park
Format: Anamorphic, PAL
Subtitles: English – region 2.
Alas Halloween is over for another year, but for some of us every day is Halloween!
Vampires appear to be everywhere right now, if it’s not the Twilight saga, it’s the new Vampire Diaries, Vampires seem to be having a “rebirth” that comes around once in a while and now they appear to be sexier than ever. Brought into modern day surroundings we now expect them to be morose, infatuated creatures that sparkle.
Ok enough! For those of you who don’t want to weep and drool into your popcorn or have sleepless nights obsessing over someone that has about as much acting charisma as a sponge in the rain! Try this for a change.
“Thirst” directed by Park Chan-Wook, the man who brought you “Oldboy”, unveils a new masterpiece. Sang-hyun, a priest working for a hospital, volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies, but makes a miraculous recovery by an accidental transfusion of vampire blood.
Already this film had smashed box office attendance in Korea and has been awarded the Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) at Cannes International Film Festival in 2009. It is certainly Park Chan-Wook’s most illiterate and mature work to date. This dark, sinister and highly sexually charged film looks at the vampire myth in a whole new context. The fact that Sang-hyun needs to feed on blood to prevent boils from breaking out on his skin is an inspiring new take on his vampires, to drink blood to prevent infection, a necessity and not a want. No fangs are flayed during this film, and it almost doesn’t matter as the characters find other more useful and hygienic implements of bloodletting.
Park’s direction skills are imperceptible, combined with strong acting ability and quite a substantial about of blood. You can really feel for the priest and his love interest. You can sympathise and understand their predicament; there are elements of humour and of sadness. The ending is subtle and thought provoking; leaving a celluloid impression that will make you ponder on what you’ve just seen. This film is extremely well executed; it brings vampires right into the modern day society, but does not play them up to be attractive, mysterious creatures that afraid of crucifixes or hiding in castle retreats.
This film is subtitled but don’t let this detract from what is an intelligent modern vampire flick, intuitive and entertaining, this is one film you must see before sunrise.