Thirst – Review August 4, 2009Posted by Cello in Asian Horror Reviews.
Forget teenage girl Twilight fad bullcrap, think more: pain, lacerations, more pain, dark grave humor, and eroticized violence. Oh yes, and Thirst deservedly won the Jury Prize at Cannes this year. Thirst is directed by Park Chan-Wook who directed my favorite movie of all-time [Oldboy] and he doesn’t dissapoint with this film. It is a bloodstained horror movie, a dark comedy, and a dark drama of crime and punishment. While nothing in Thirst is quite as shocking or perverse as some of the material in Oldboy or Lady Vengeance, there are elegantly presented servings of sex and gore.
Thirst involves a Catholic priest named Sang-hyun who becomes infected with vampire blood through a blood transfusion. Trapped between his faith and his lust for blood, his morals are tested when he becomes reunited with a friend, Kang-woo, and falls in love with his wife Tae-Joo. Though Tae-Joo is initially repulsed by the fact that Sang-hyun is a vampire, she overcomes her fears and the two begin a highly sexual relationship which quickly turns deadly.
You need to know that this movie is beautifully shot and composed. However, Thirst is no Oldboy, no, it’s not that great, but it’s still good. The film doesn’t rely on any vampire conventions one might expect. Where Thirst begins to fall apart is around the midway point. Although the focus of its narrative movement is not always clear, in its best moments, Thirst offers something of the poetic force of cinema’s timeless masterpieces. Park Chan-wook’s latest work Thirst, like other great movies, makes you forget you’re watching one, and you won’t be able to stop it from shaking up every cell in your body unless you dart for the exit.
Although the priests life has been saved due to the transfusion, his senses have been amplified, his strength has become superhuman and he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, he has to sleep in a closet during the day, and if he doesn’t feed on human blood, the grisly effects of the disease, such as vomiting blood, peeling fingernails, etc. return, and he’ll die. The most troubling side effect to the priest, though, is his sinful desire. A small regret is that the movie does not go as far as the novel to feature more character development. But, when the majority of America is watching and obsessing over stupid kiddy crap like Twilight, its movies like this and series like True Blood that deserve the real praise.