Fantasia Festival 2016 Review: THE WAILING

Fantasia International Film Festival Unleashes Na Hong-Jin’s New Supernatural Thriller, The Wailing

The Wailing, the new feature from Na Hong-jin, the mastermind director behind South Korean classics, The Chaser, and The Yellow Sea.

I have said before that you never know what to expect from a Na Hong-jin movie. One pattern that he does follow is that they are all works of brutal brilliance with hardcore moments of extreme gore and violence. Not only are they brutal but they move at such a pace you find yourself gasping for air, with so many hidden meanings.

The Wailing continues his string of flawless S.K cinema.

the wailing movieThe film is set in a small South Korean village in the province of Gokseong. A vicious infection ravaging its way through the locals, and the symptoms are nasty.

The infected start to develop a horrible skin rash. Huge boils cover the body, and eventually you become some sort of crazed lunatic –  and then death is imminent, and you die an excruciating, painful death

Not only is there some sort of plague-like virus, but there is also evidence of a serial-killer on the loose. Our lead character is Sgt. Jeon Jong-gu, and he is in way over his head. He is not used to this amount of cases in his quiet peaceful village.

He comes across as a frightened man  – not ready for the events that are unfolding in front of his eyes, and that is very understandable . His actions, at first are often comedic. I thought this was a nice change from the dark tone of his Hong-Jin’s other movies. As the film progresses, all comedic factors disappear, and the film starts to enter into darker and sinister territories.

The Wailing is a film that really does require multiple viewings, and your complete attention. There is so much to it, and it’s steeped deep in Korean culture.

I knew everything had its meaning, so I set out to find out the things that I did not understand. Now that I know exactly what happened, it only makes the film even better. This is another work of art from Na Hong-Jin.

There is a lot to take-in but when you piece it all together, it’s only then you will realise what a magic piece of cinema The Wailing is. There is all the elements of a gritty, dark thriller, while at the same time adding in a supernatural element drenched in Korean history. The combination is strange, but it works on so many levels.

I can honestly say that The Wailing will sit highly at the top with other S.K greats and will be considered a South Korean classic some day.

More Fantasia International Festival Film Coverage Coming Soon




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