Director Hong-Jin Na is no stranger to us, as his excellent films The Chaser and The Yellow Sea have long since been a part of our Foreign Film lexicon. When we heard that his newest movie dipped its toe into the Supernatural pool, we knew we were in for something special. Or at the very least, different. Maybe even odd.
The Wailing is definitely all of those things.
|YEAH, YOU DON'T SEE THAT EVERYDAY.|
|HE IS KINDA CREEPY...|
|WHAT IS SHE ON ABOUT?|
I'm still trying to grasp what the movie was truly about, as some of it makes very little sense. There's definitely an evil presence in the small village which is making people sick and causing them to commit some heinous murders, but then again, there could be more to it than that. I view it as a straight-forward Supernatural tale, but that doesn't mean that it is.
That very mystery had us going the whole time, wondering just who was causing the sickness, possessions, and re-animation of corpses, or if it was anyone at all. The Japanese guy is obviously an evil Demon, but then again he could be a innocent man who is swept up in some good old fashioned xenophobia once things start to go wrong in his new S.Korean hometown; then there's the mysterious woman in white, who seems to delight in tormenting Jong-Goo, and is also sufficiently creepy, so what if she's somehow behind the occurrences; and of course there's something not completely right about the flashy Shaman who shows up and makes a big production out of cleansing the village of its evil...
***BEWARE SPOILERS*** This movie had us guessing as to what in the hell was really going on up until the end, and in the end, we were satisfied. Without giving too much away, there's a biblical element to the movie that involves spirits using human beings for their own ends. It kind of felt like a chess game between good and evil, with Jong-Goo being the main pawn. It was clear to us that the Japanese stranger was a in fact a Demon, and that the Shaman was also one, perhaps even the strangers apprentice. As for the woman in white, we're pretty sure that she was a good entity who was trying to help Jong-Goo. I'm not sure why he was punished (the woman in white's explanation that he had "sinned' made no sense, because that "sin" didn't happen until well into the movie, and by then he had already been plagued with terrible things), but in the end, it was all about his journey.
Then comes the ending, which wraps everything up in horrific, heartbreaking fashion.
|DUDE, SHE'S CONTAGIOUS. BACK OFF.|
|THIS MOVIE WAS TOO CREEPY TO BE SEXY.|
|THE KOREAN TONY ROBBINS.|
As it stands though, The Wailing is an excellent Supernatural Thriller, and one that you should seek out and experience when you get the chance.
The Wailing is in theaters (Limited) right now.
Woo-hee Chun is in this.