Friday, October 15, 2010

Bald Mountain Night 15: Thirst

Each day in October, intrepid blogger Alex Boivin will watch a horror movie. These movies are all new to him and are part of his month-long effort to fill in his gaps in the horror canon. If he doesn't die from fright, you just might get to read about about his exploits in cinema during the Halloween season. 

My investigation into Asian horror cinema deepens with this week's entry, Thirst, and while it's not my favorite, I am finding the spooky offerings of the Orient to be to my liking.

Sang-hyun is a devout Catholic priest working with the terminally ill. His sense of duty and piety leads him to submit to a controversial medical procedure meant to cure a deadly disease. However, something goes wrong and after a blood transfusion, Sang-hyun has transformed into a bloodsucking vampire. Soon, he begins questioning his faith (of course) and finds that he thirsts not just for the blood of the living but also all things illicit and begins a steamy affair with his friend's wife.

Thirst wasn't as horror-ific as some of the other movies on my list, but that was in no way to its detriment. Directed by South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook (famed for his Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy in particular), Thirst, while spilling its fair share of blood, functions less as a scare-fest and more as a study of morality and evil. Sang-hyun starts out as holy man but once he is afflicted with vampirisim he begins a downward spiral into sin on several levels. Sure, any horror movie could stand to be scarier, but its much easier to make a better movie when you have complex metaphors for man's sinful nature, don't you think?

But was it scary? Most of the blood in this feature was used for kinky sex rather than vampiric sustenance. No complaints here.

Final Verdict: 48 Congos