Friday, August 14, 2009

I Left Thirst(ing) For A Better Movie

Horror movies are a thrill to watch, they make you cringe and they make you laugh. Foreign horror movies can make you jump as well as cower in fright. Director Chan-wook Park brings Romance, Religion, Madness as well as blood suckers in "Thirst" a take on the age old tale of vampires, this time with a twist.

Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a priest who cherishes life, hates death and cries when a patient dies. His desire for life is so strong, that he volunteers for a deadly experiment, a secret vaccine development project meant to eradicate a deadly virus, the virus kills every volunteer including the priest, just prior to his death he is given a blood transfusion, unknown to anybody the blood he receives is infected, and Sang-hyun becomes a vampire. Struggling with his new found desire for blood, Sang-hyuns faith is further strained when a friends wife, Tae-joo (Kim Ok-vin), comes to him asking for his help in escaping the life she endures.

Tae-joo lives the life of a slave, her husband Kang-woo (Ha-kyun Shin) is a simpleton who is under his mothers thumb. When Tae-joo and Sang-hyun become lovers the power of the vampire is a draw that Tae-joo can't escape. She tells Sang-hyun that Kang-woo is beating her and he that together they must kill him. Taking a life isn't really what Sang-hyun wants to do, but his love and desire for Tae-joo overrides his senses. After doing the deed Tae-joo lets it slip that she wasn't a victim of abuse after all, she was just tired of living her life the way it was. Sang-hyun is so mad that he decides he can not abide by her lies, he turns Tae-joo into a vampire and here is where the blood starts to really flow.

Tae-joo is so overwhelmed with the new power she now has that she goes on a rampage and starts to kill with a reckless abandon Sang-hyun determines that the last straw was when Tae-joo attacks her mother in law and kills her house guests. He decides that he has to end the life of the beast he has created and takes her out into the world just prior to sunup. Tae-joo fights him when she realizes what it is he is trying to do. The ending is sad and poignant the everlasting power of love has a control over everyone. The movie as a whole takes more time then it should to develope a story line, but if taken in spurts, this movie has a gripping story that will haunt you long after walking out.

I give Thirst a 2 and on my avoidance scale a 1, this movie is one that could best be watched in the comfort of your own home, where you will have the option to watch at your leisure, where you can rewind and watch several scenes over. The cunning way that Sang-hyun is able to acquire blood is a rather new and cool way.

Thirst is rated R for Graphic Bloody Violence, Disturbing Images, Strong Sexual Content, Nudity and Language
Running time is 2 hrs. 13 mins.

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