Wednesday, October 26, 2016

[Review] The Wailing

Director Na Hong-jin is the unleasher of The Wailing, a South Korean horror-thriller. This epic film is a blended concoction of doom and spooky subgenres, and the result is wonderfully terrifying.

When mysterious and brutal murders begin cropping up around a small lake village, a local hapless officer named Jong-goo (played by Kwak Do-won) attempts to investigate the root of the problem. But when wildlings, ghosts, demonic possessions, and infection outbreaks come into play, he concludes that the savage sickness is more than just some bad mushrooms.

As disturbing as this stuff is, the film actually dons a surprisingly amusing tone, especially during the first half. Between the slapstick acting, comic reaction shots to the jolts, and the goofy breaks in the madness, there's definitely a splotch of humor. In other words, the film doesn't take itself too seriously (I think I even heard a pronounced fart at one point). But don't get it twisted. This is still genuinely scary and designed to freak you out. And the story grows increasingly frightening as it progresses.

Crafted with plenty of gusto--from pulsating shaman rituals, dreadful face-to-face encounters with flesh-hungry beings, and a deep splash of East Asian mythology and archetypal folklore--the film rivets as much as gets under your skin. There's even some hints of "True Detective" Season One type of stuff--only way witchier and hellish. What's also impressive is the film's grand runtime. It clocks in at nearly 160 minutes, yet it never feels like a slog--thanks to its great pacing, consistent engagement, and a major sense of unpredictability. A lot of other films should take notes, to be honest.

The Wailing is hysterical. It's manic. It's creepy. It's bloody. It's dark. It's a real scream.

* 8.5/10 *

Be sure to Like Fade to Zach on Facebook!
And Follow me on Twitter: @Fade_to_Zach

No comments:

Post a Comment