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The pig is the terminal corpse time - MIFF 2009 Blog

Thirst (2009)

Director: Park Chan-Wook
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-vin, Kim Hae-sook, Shin Ha-kyun, Park In-hwan, Oh Dal-su, Song Young-chang, Mercedes Cabral, Eriq Ebouaney

Tagline: Have at you Twilight!

Not to be confused with the 1980s Australian movie of the same name, in this film Father Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) travels to Africa to volunteer to be a human guinea-pig for a strange new virus. He dies, but is bought back to life when he receives a blood transfusion.

Back in South Korea is regarded as a "Miracle Priest", but he is disturbed to find he needs blood to keep himself alive and tries to get it in ways that don't involve killing people.

He is also disturbed by the other desires growing in him and beats himself about the bed flute with an actual flute, waking up on the floor he finds he has to hide in the cupboard when the sunlight hits him and he starts to fry.

A chance meeting with the mother of a cancer-sufferer Lady Ra (Kim Hae-sook) leads him to his old friend Kang-woo (Shin Ha-kyun) who is married to Tae-joo (Kim Ok-vin) and they invite him over for a game of Mah-jong. Sang-hyeon falls in love with Tae-joo and she leads him on claiming that Kang-woo beats her and she is treated badly by Lady Ra.

Lots of torrid sex later and Kang-woo ends up moving in with Tae-joo and her family. Things take a turn for the worse when Tae-joo convinces Sang-hyeon to murder for love and Lady Ra ends up paralysed.

I was a bit disappointed after Tae-joo becomes a vampire that they don't let her run off and enjoy herself, the scenes where she gleefully jumps out in front of a car so she can kill the driver and how wild she acts were a highlight. San-hyeon is such a spoil-sport, but does realise it can't go on like this.

This is not your usual vampire movie and is very disturbing in parts. I liked having the two lovers both with super vampire strength trying to kill each other, which basically leads to a stalemate until San-hyeon puts his foot down and ends it.

The usual regulars from Park Chan-wook movies return for some roles and I enjoyed this movie a lot more than "I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK". I don't think it will have the break out success of Old Boy, but it is great to see the director going in a new direction.

Rating: 8/10

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