Jul 4, 2010


I've given myself up to Park-Chan Wook and various other Korean masters. After charismatically bringing a manga to life with his mucky revenge thriller Oldboy, he separated himself from the pack by creating not only the greatest adaptation (arguably) of comic-to-cinema but insisted that this entity has an existence past paper thus making Oldboy seem so far apart from the rest of the pile. With his Vengeance trilogy, I have been impressed mostly but I will admit needing to rewatch all three for an overall satisfactory experience but with Thirst, Chan-wook seeks to reset the way the horror and vampire genre are to be digested. Thirst is a brooding vampire noir and I'd like to think the first of its kind. But this slow burning cinematic hemorrhage will inevitably take its toll on your default mood and I assume with this statement that the power of film is capable of moving you to either end of the extremes.

The incredible aspect of Thirst is its multi-format inconsistencies that leap from scene to scene bewildering you with what appears to be embracing every manifestation of these night demons sans the bat metamorphosis. Perceived by me to be an unintentional ode to The Invisible Man, Sang-hyun adorns bandages spanning his entire body for what he doesn't realize to be a deathly allergy to sunlight. From the silent stalking to the coffin sleeping, Thirst spans all incarnations of vampire, save for the glitter variety. The Bandaged Saint's introduction to the screen is what sets this absent priest apart from the other sexually-ravenous Catholic members of the boy-loving kind. After hearing the pleas of a suicidal nurse in the confession stand, Sang-hyeon sighs and suggests to her a diet of sun and anti-depressants and to "forget that bastard who dumped you." Not so much holy as a vulnerable man. Wanting to do some good he volunteers his body as a vessel to play guinea pig to experiment treatment for an incurable disease called the Emmanuel Virus. After dying on the table after an unsuccessful blood transfusion(!), he returns to life softly praying and miraculously healing.

All this leads up to his wild descent into the evil charms of a woman who is just given a tiny bit of power who then executes the lowly priests self-extinction. And thus the true majesty of Thirst is bared to all. In a way it seems despondent towards the cries of gender equality and feminism but as you can so succinctly envision in this tale of fiction coated in non-fiction, things are not always what they appear to be. While the male is really no good but at least strives for less than original sin, it's the female, "Eve", who banishes the immortal Adam to a silent purgatory of relentless emotional abuse. Thirst invokes in me a malicious wrath of hatred towards the promiscuity of women. As far as hypocrisy goes, I've indeed had my fill. The scene with Tae-ju having rough sex with one of Kang-Woo's dinner friends flustered me to no end. One facet of life I cannot indulge into is the whorish behaviors of the female. More recently, I've had to deal with heavy emotional baggage of the same caliber but not quite as fitting. I would strongly recommend you viewing Thirst if you've ever had female problems which applies to most men. Anyone who disagrees with me is a whipped bitch, that's all.

Thirst is composed of select scenes of explosive conflict as the hunger drives and thrives within the unholy only to alternate between takes to a serene and peaceful look into the life of a nocturnal predator. It's not as though these are bad people. It's rather sorrowful to observe this wayward servant of god helplessly try to remain of good intent as he struggles with a condition that his "god" undoubtedly had to create; unless of course he seeks counsel in the open arms of science. Now on to the highlight of the show, sex and blood lust. If Thirst had to be known for one thing, it's the trauma-inducing sex scenes. To watch a vampire unaware of his own strength literally pound a virgin unabashedly while she winces in pain is as awkward as watching those POV porn angles of slapping genitalia.

To its credit, Thirst also is cursed with incredibly realistic sex sequences. This is no escapist view into what sex should be or how it should be. No glamorous makeup, no soft grunts, no magical butterflies in the pit of your stomach. The lavish sequences of lust are raw, crude, and desirable only to those involved which is how sex in cinema should be. When the film finally reaches its forlorn conclusion, silence will swell up in the pit of your stomach which was the case for me and it seems that all of life's problems were solved with the promise of a lovely sacrifice. Far be it from me to exclaim this to be the best vampire film created in a long time but I'd be lying if I didn't admit this is one of the best. It's also rather uncommon for a film to show the truth of the ever-going female decay and how we are powerless against it.



Scumbalina said...

I just bought this at Movie Gallery for .75 cents! I wasn't sure what to expect from it but after your review now I'm kind of excited! Great job!

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I wonder if Scumbalina is a gorgeous bird with an incredible arse?, if she is i`d love to bugger her senseless.