Movie Review - Thirst
directed by Chan-Wook Park
KOREAN CATHOLIC PRIEST GOES GOTH
by Kevin Bowen
published September 4, 2009
now playing in select theaters
After Twilight you …. you
parents …. you told your daughters it was fine to go around dating vampires. Don’t mind the teeth, hun. As long as he has you home by
Well, I have news for you – they still bite. And crave blood. All that
“no coffins and drinking cow’s blood” propaganda? Lies. If you have any doubt, watch Thirst. It
uncovers the truth behind the cape.
Oh yeah, Sang-hyeon (Kang Ho-Song) makes a big pretense of having a
soul. He is a Korean Catholic priest who transforms into a vampire while serving as a guinea pig in a church medical experiment. (How does
that happen? Ask a doctor.) For the first while, he makes a big show of his moral thinking. Continuing his work as a priest. Praying
ostentatiously for the dying. Avoiding killing at all costs, while sucking only the blood of the unconscious. How kind!
It takes only the forbidden love a family’s adopted daughter, kept in
servitude by her wicked stepmother, to get him to sin. And then sin again. And the next think you know, he’s really sinking his teeth into
her. And that’s when Hell on Earth really starts. And the man who enters vampirism aiming for sainthood has to accept that he has changed
into a monster.
Oh, and I bet some idiot film reviewer will run off and tell you that
“The latest flight into comic masochism by Oldboy
director Chan-Wook Park” is “one of the best films of the year.” He’ll probably call it a “vampire morality tale” (as if!) and describe it
as “brilliantly dallying in blood and spirituality.” Or some crap like that.
Then after that, he might tell you that it “starts as a vampire film, slips into a film noir,
and ends in mad, merry, morbid screwball.” Like that means anything comprehensible. Then he’ll go on about it being “a film noir” that
“reverses the sexual dynamics of the average vampire film” in which “a femme fatale’s bite is worse than that of the undead.” Like that
clears things up.
And woah-ho-ho-ho, he probably won’t warn you about the vast acreage
of blood and gore. He’ll just comment how “the silly incompatibility of humor and disgust“ makes all the gore ”capable of being swallowed
with a laugh.”
Just keep your daughter safe.
kevinbowen @ stageandcinema.com