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Park Chan-wook's Thirst is a Blood-Drenched Vampire Thriller?

by
May 13, 2009
Source: Reuters

Park Chan-wook's Thirst

Vengeance trilogy director Park Chan-wook returns to Cannes this year with his newest vampire film Thirst, starring The Host's Song Kang-ho. I'm looking forward to it quite a bit, but because I don't see it until tomorrow (Thursday), we've got to resort to pulling quotes from Reuters (via The Playlist) for the early buzz. They're already calling it a "blood-drenched thriller" along the lines of Park's past work, which often questions "human nature through scenes of shocking violence and dark humor." Also since I don't have the opportunity to talk with Park Chan-wook either, they have some great quotes from the filmmaker.

"I wanted to make audiences more conscious of the moral aspects of choices, whether large or small, by presenting a once-in-a-lifetime, life-or-death decision and exaggerating it to the extremes," Park said. "Many of South Korea's modern films do not dodge, but squarely confront, moral questions that other films in other countries tend to see as anachronistic." It's for this reason especially that I can't wait to see Thirst, especially being a fan of Park's Vengeance trilogy. We previously posted an early teaser trailer, but at this point I'm trying to just go in as unaware as possible, so that I may be able to enjoy it so much more.

And speaking of vampires, considering they're quite popularity in cinema at the moment (e.g. Twilight), why did Park choose to tackle that subject? "I thought I could add some changes to this old genre by approaching the subject -- vampire-ism, so to speak -- without the usual mystery or romanticism but from a realistic perspective where being a vampire is sort of a disease," Park said. That's a rather interesting approach to the genre and I'm very curious to see how it'll work in the context of his film. I'll be providing a quick reaction tomorrow afternoon once I get to finally see Park Chan-wook's latest, so stay tuned!

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  • Hot looking poster
  • I'm trying my best not to read about any detailed plot points, but it's fascinating that the film has very low ratings on Korean film sites akin to Yahoo (4.7 on Daum, 5.48 on Naver, both out of 10). I noticed people were giving it very polarizing marks, so I tried to translate some of the very negative comments and saw that many just couldn't handle the movie's violence and intensity. One person even commented that they saw people leaving the theatre to vomit! In other words, I can't wait. Park knows how to push boundaries within the context of a story rather than just for exploitation.
  • LINKFX
    SPOILERS BELOW: My brother saw this film in Korea last weekend and sent me this mini opinion/critique/review, it's got some spoilers so you've been warned. Thirst was not as good as Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and generally much more conventional in its storytelling style. However, it's pretty damn brutal and full of black humor and some extremely deep character arcs on par with an Igmar Bergman film. The best way to describe it would be as Solaris(original) meets Dracula. The priest kills the girl he's been sleeping with, and then resurrects her as a vampire, so this previously shy girl is empowered and with no former moral center becomes a serial killer. There's this hilariously black scene where she throws herself in front of a car, and then kills the driver who comes out to see if she's alive. There are some well executed visual effects, especially when the priest and his girl leap across roof tops or are brutally murdering people. For instance, the girl strikes a man in the throat in close up and the guy's neck breaks and his head sort of dangles backward. There are some effects though that aren't very well executed, like a scene where they're on a small fishing boat at night, which is clearly a set with cg backdrop. But things like this don't detract from the overall experience too much. I'd say that the movie was pretty good, with some masterful character moments towards the end, and with both actors giving some very deep performances. However, it was much more mature and subdued than Park's previous films, and generally lacked the frenzy of the Vengeance trilogy. It's definitely a great film though, it just lacks the sucker punch impact of his previous movies.
  • Moviegimp
    I love vampire flicks, sans Twilight since that looked like a chick flick more than a vampire film. Talking about vampire-ism as a disease reminds me of an old Joseph Michael Linsner story, he did in the original Cry for Dawn comic, called Decay. It was his backlash at the time against the romance of vampires by Ann Rice. The picture there looks intriguing and sexy.
  • M
    I really like this Director's movies, Old Boy was really interesting. So I will check this out.
  • Passerby
    Sounds bloody great ;-P
  • Jon
    Hey Guys, I'm a Korean It means this comment must have gramatical mistakes. Anyway, I'm totally mad at Park's films I would like to watch it but I can't since I'm in Aus. So I asked a friend of mine who has watched that film, he said it's just coverd with brutal scences over the film.. He added it's worth watching it though, there is no point in paying for going to pay for it 😉 but Im so desperately waiting for it... When I go back to Korea, the first thing I have to do is Watching this!! Ah, this can be just little plot of the movie, everyone in Korea knows though, Mr. Song exposed his dick in the last scene which is not allowed legally in Korea, that resulted in kind of big issue in Korea. Usually exposure of an actress is very big issue in Korea especially young one. However, kind of bad news for the Mrs. Kim, Her exposure is kind of neglected owing to the hero's dick : )

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