10.12.10

Thirst

Korean vampire film, naturally. The director says in the interview on the DVD that he storyboards EVERY scene in his films, lighting and all. And boy do you believe it! Firecracker frames every single one of them. Dude likes to keep his steady-cam running too. And he likes to get the crane involved as well. And he's got a good eye for odd wide-angle shots. Special effects, sound design, all carefully considered and expertly mixed in. Srsly, I haven't been this wowed by the look of a horror film since Pan's Labyrinth. LOVE-e-ly stuff.

But let's leave the superficial considerations to one side. What is this (really long!) story about? Our protagonist, a priest, condemns suicide but has a thirst for martyrdom. Interesting enough. Next, vampirism awakens a thirst for blood and sex. Slightly less novel. For me, the film is about how to negotiate with these unwholesome desires, which cannot be entirely eradicated, and yet have the potential to do enormous damage to others. The priest escapes from the strictures of Catholicism and falls in love, but his love cannot control herself. She turns from masochism to sadism, using her lover to kill, then killing on her own. Blind faith is a dead end, but so is complete freedom to do whatever you want. By the end of the film, the priest has made too many compromises. He didn't get the balance right, and so martyrdom is the only way out.

So it's what every vampire movie is about -- struggling with your inner beast. But being a 21st century vampire movie, religion isn't the answer either (ya heard that, Twilight?). Like I said, not novel stuff, but it's so godsdamn pretty that you'll forgive all shortcomings. Honestly, more fantasy / horror films need to look like this.

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