I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Korean films. When they’re good, they’re GOOD, like Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. But to be honest, I found most of the Korean films that I’ve watched somewhat unremarkable. It could very well be that I’m just watching the wrong ones, that I’m spending too much time on the mainstream, studio-produced popcorn, when I should be focusing more on the fringe stuff. But still, I’m holding out hope that eventually I catch on to this Korean media craze that seems to be going on right now, and The Wailing looks like it might be the movie to get me hooked. Set to premiere at Cannes later this month, The Wailing is the latest from director Na Hong-Jin, who also directed The Yellow Sea and Chaser. From the trailer, it looks like a pretty intense thriller, possibly with a vaguely paranormal element to it. Here’s the official description.
The arrival of a mysterious stranger (Chun Woo-hee) in an otherwise quiet village coincides with a rash of vicious murders, causing panic and suspicion amongst the villagers. When the daughter of investigating officer Jong-Goo (Kwak Do-won) falls under the same savage spell, he calls for a shaman (Hwang Jung-min) to assist in finding the culprit.
So the implication I’m getting is that the killer is either a vampire, or suspected as such. The “is it or isn’t it paranormal” angle is usually a pretty reliable one for generating tension, since you never quite know where things are headed next. Is the killer going to suddenly grow fangs and start biting people? Or is he just a run of the mill serial killer with some pretty strong powers of persuasion? There also seems to be an element of xenophobia and racial tension thrown in, with the supposed killer being Japanese. So is he a vampire, a serial killer, or just foreign? Again, interesting angle. I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground for reviews after The Wailing debuts. This could be one to watch.
Check out the trailer below.